Recovering Reason: Essays in Honor of Thomas L. Pangle is a collection of essays composed by students and friends of Thomas L. Pangle to honor his seminal work and outstanding guidance in the study of political philosophy. These essays examine both Socrates' and modern political philosophers' attempts to answer the question of the right life for human beings, as those attempts are introduced and elaborated in the work of thinkers from Homer and Thucydides to Nietzsche and Charles Taylor.
This book contains new essays in honor of Melvin J. Lerner, a pioneer in the psychological study of justice. The contributors to this volume are internationally renowned scholars from psychology, business, and law. They examine the role of justice motivation in a wide variety of contexts, including workplace violence, affirmative action programs, helping or harming innocent victims and how people react to their own fate. Contributors explore fundamental issues such as whether people's interest in justice is motivated by self-interest or (...) a genuine concern for the welfare of others, when and why people feel a need to punish transgressors, how a concern for justice emerges during the development of societies and individuals, and the relation of justice motivation to moral motivation. How an understanding of justice motivation can contribute to the amelioration of major social problems is also examined. (shrink)
This paper is concerned with a recent argument of Jerry Fodor's to the effect that the frame problem in artificial intelligence is in principle insoluble. Fodor's argument is based on his contention that the mind is divided between encapsulated modular systems for information processing and 'central systems' for non-demonstrative inference. I argue that positing central systems is methodologically unsound, and in fact involves a muddle that bears a strong family resemblance to the basic error in dualism. I therefore conclude that (...) Fodor's position on the frame problem should be rejected. (shrink)
Understanding consciousness is one of the central scientific challenges of our time. This book presents Andy Ross's recent work and discusses a range of perspectives on the core issues. The chapters are based on texts written for a variety of occasions and audiences. Reading them in order, one senses a growing clarity in the articulation of the new ideas, some of which are deep and rather subtle, and glimpses the outlines of a dynamic field. Ross has taken pains (...) to unify the collection and make the main thread clearly visible. His new ideas are of fundamental importance, and readers who grapple with them should gain insight that amply rewards the effort. (shrink)
J. L. Austin, in "Ifs and Cans," proclaimed the common hope that we soon "may see the birth, through the joint labors of philosophers, grammarians, and numerous other students of language, of a true and comprehensive science of language." The problem has always been with the "joint labors" part. Philosophers have always been willing to issue linguists dictums and linguists have been happy to teach philosophers "plain facts." Austin’s general view of language, and his particular notion of performative utterance, can (...) be found in the writing of J. R. Firth, the most commanding British linguist of Austin’s generation, but Austin never refers to Firth. In the present volume, however, we find clear and exciting evidence of genuinely joint labors on the part of philosophers and linguists. They stem from a summer conference in 1969 rounded out with contributions from notables. To two thick issues of Synthese the editors have added a dazzling piece by Saul Kripke, two substantial pieces by James McCawley and J. R. Ross, a short paper by Paul Ziff, and a reprint of P. F. Strawson’s "Grammar and Philosophy." This is an invaluable book and the best book among the many now available concerning the interaction of linguistics and philosophy: worth the cost, which the contributors attempted to reduce through foregoing royalties. The philosophers in this volume hold, or hold intriguing, the view that the semantics of a natural language can and must, in effect, be a theory of truth for a language in much the manner that Tarski suggested, and provided, for artificial language: the recursive specification of biconditionals in which the left hand gives the structural description of an object language sentence and the right hand, the truth conditions in the metalanguage. In "homophonic" translation this requirement can be trivially satisfied simply by mentioning the sentence on the left that one uses on the right: one makes the requirement non-trivial by forcing enough into the recursive specification so that one captures the native speaker’s implicit semantic competence. In this volume, the "orthodox" Davidsonian program, which takes the syntax of the metalanguage to be standard predicate logic, is ably argued by John Wallace ; Richard Montague, David Lewis, and Jaakko Hintikka would want an intensional logic covering modality and propositional attitudes. The linguists who find this philosophical climate most appealing are called "generative semanticists": McCawley, Ross, George Lakoff and others argue that any proposed semantic rule will eventually prove necessary to syntax too and that, hence, the deepest level of syntactical form will be equivalent to semantic form. Whatever the ultimate fate of this joint program, it leads here to much exciting interaction between linguists and philosophers: linguists who welcome the machinery and conceptual standards of modern logic, and philosophers who try to grasp the specifics of crucial issues in recent linguistic theory. Even if Quine’s doubts, here sketched, and Chomsky’s currently unpublished more technical objections should be well-founded, nonetheless the joint labor will have been very much worthwhile. Aside from this general debate about semantics, there are several papers covering more specific issues. The papers of J. A. Fodor, Terence Parsons, and Ross concern adverbs and the logical form of action sentences; several papers, particularly B. H. Partee’s, examine "Opacity, Coreference, and Pronouns." In all these papers one notes the fulfillment of Austin’s hope that philosophic and linguistic arguments should become intermixed, if not at times properly indistinguishable. Perhaps the most enjoyable and exciting paper stands aside from linguistics: Saul Kripke’s "Naming and Necessity." Kripke here argues quite informally for the separation of analytic, a priori, and necessary that is required for a Kripke style, S5, modal logic with de re modalities. "Gold is a yellow metal," for example, turns out to be contingent, while "Heat is the motion of particles" is necessary but a posteriori ; and that philosopher’s stone of stones, "The morning star is the evening star," is discovered to be necessary but a posteriori.—J. L. (shrink)
Elders' work is patterned after Ross's editions of Aristotle's Physics, Metaphysics, and Analytics, except that Elders does not include the Greek text to accompany his commentary. Each chapter of the four books of De Caelo is briefly summarized and a line by line commentary ensues with special consideration given to the more controversial passages. In an introduction to his commentary, Elders develops the essential themes surrounding Aristotle's cosmology: 1) The proper historical setting, 2) The notion of natural movement and (...) elementary bodies, 3) The role of metaphysics in Aristotle's cosmology, Aristotle's notion of science and methodology. Elders seems to gloss over the main problem that Aristotle's Cosmology engenders, viz., whether the heavenly spheres move by a natural necessity or are moved by a supra-celestial principle. His comment on the first chapter of Book III points out Aristotle's intention of including both the heavens and the sub-lunar sphere under the study of Physics. He correctly points out that if one is to understand the De Caelo, then one must "look upon cosmology the way its author did, viz., as a science of intellectual vision, rather than as a labor of toilsome research: the study of the cosmos is an intellectual effort which finds its end and its reward in itself."—J. J. R. (shrink)
_On Mechanism in Hegel's Social and Political Philosophy_ examines the role of the concept of mechanism in Hegel’s thinking about political and social institutions. It counters as overly simplistic the notion that Hegel has an ‘organic concept of society’. It examines the thought of Hegel’s peers and predecessors who critique modern political intuitions as ‘machine-like’, focusing on J.G. Herder, Friedrich Schlegel and Novalis. From here it examines the early writings of Hegel, in which Hegel makes a break with the Romantic (...) way of thinking about ethical community. Ross argues that in this period, Hegel devises a new way of thinking about the integration of mechanistic and organic features within an organizational whole. This allows Hegel to offer an innovative theory of modern civil society as a component in ethical life. The second half of the book examines how Hegel develops this thought in his later works. It offers an in depth commentary on the chapter on mechanism in the Science of Logic, and it demonstrates the role of these thoughts in Hegel’s Philosophy of Right. _On Mechanism in Hegel's Social and Political Philosophy_ offers a critical response to debates over communitarianism by arguing against one of the central figures used by scholars to associate Hegel with communitarian thought, namely the notion that society is organic. In addition, it argues that Hegel political theory is deeply informed by his formal ontology, as developed in the Science of Logic. (shrink)
Currently, the most popular views about how to update de se or self-locating beliefs entail the one-third solution to the Sleeping Beauty problem.2 Another widely held view is that an agent‘s credences should be countably additive.3 In what follows, I will argue that there is a deep tension between these two positions. For the assumptions that underlie the one-third solution to the Sleeping Beauty problem entail a more general principle, which I call the Generalized Thirder Principle, and there are situations (...) in which the latter principle and the principle of Countable Additivity cannot be jointly satisfied. The most plausible response to this tension, I argue, is to accept both of these principles, and to maintain that when an agent cannot satisfy them both, she is faced with a rational dilemma. (shrink)
Ted Honderich, 74, formerly Grote Professor of the Philosophy of Mind and Logic at the University of London, recently published a short book on consciousness (Honderich, 2004). Colin McGinn, 57, his former colleague at University College London and now a professor of philosophy at the University of Miami, Florida, reviewed it (McGinn, 2007a). The review is quite long and detailed, but the first sentences set the tone. McGinn on Honderich: 'This book runs the full gamut from the mediocre to the (...) ludicrous to the merely bad. It is painful to read, poorly thought out, and uninformed. It is also radically inconsistent.'. (shrink)
The use of human fetal tissue for scientific research has enormous potential but is subject to government legislation. In the United Kingdom the Polkinghorne Committee's guidelines were accepted by the Department of Health in 1990. These guidelines set out to protect women undergoing termination of pregnancy from exploitation but in so doing may significantly restrict potential research. Although the committee took evidence from a wide variety of experts they did not seek the views of the general public. We asked 108 (...) women about to have a therapeutic abortion; 167 women who had had a pregnancy terminated in the past, and 419 women who had never had an abortion, their views on research using human fetal tissue. Regardless of their past experiences the women were overwhelmingly in favour of research using fetal tissue (94 per cent). They made little distinction between basic research and research with obvious clinical relevance and supported the concept of using transplanted fetal tissue for the treatment of adult disease such as Parkinsonism. Women about to undergo an abortion were significantly more likely (p < 0.001) to approve of all types of research including that aimed at improving methods of abortion and research using live fetuses in utero. (shrink)
2. Spinoza, as is well known, held both and explicitly and concluded that God does not act from free will. In Note II to Prop. 33 of the Ethics Spinoza says, "Although it be granted that will appertains to the essence of God, it nevertheless follows from His perfection that things could not have been by Him created other than they are or in a different order.".