In this paper I provide a novel argument against the claim that classical genetics is being reduced to molecular genetics. Specifically, I demonstrate that reductionists must subscribe to the unargued and problematic thesis that molecular genetics is 'independent' of classical genetics. I also argue that several standard antireductionist positions can be faulted for unnecessarily conceding the Independence Thesis to the reductionists. In place of a 'tale of two sciences', I offer a 'heroic' stance that denies classical genetics is being reduced, (...) yet sees classical and molecular genetics as fundamentally unified. (shrink)
In the Phaedo, Socrates offers recommendations for living a philosophical life. We argue that those recommendations can be properly understood only in light of Socrates’ account of the soul’s true nature, considered separately from the body. Embodiment causes the soul to diverge from its proper end, the pursuit of knowledge. Bodily pleasures, pains, and desires divert the soul to other ends, distract its attention away from knowledge, and deceive it about what is true. Socrates’ recommended solutions to these obstacles are (...) diverse, reflecting the complexities of human psychology. He recommends avoidance of bodily experiences in many cases as well as reevaluation of the importance of the body, but he doesn’t recommend either the wholesale rejection or embrace of the bodily. We are our souls but, like it or not, we are temporarily embodied, and what happens to the body is thereby experienced by us. Socrates thus exhorts us to live in a way that recognizes both our temporary humanity and our lasting, true nature. Only so can we best pursue knowledge. (shrink)
Plato’s Socrates is often thought to hold that wisdom or virtue is sufficient for happiness, and Euthydemus 278-282 is often taken to be the locus classicus for this sufficiency thesis in Plato’s dialogues. But this view is misguided: Not only does Socrates here fail to argue for, assert, or even implicitly assume the sufficiency thesis, but the thesis turns out to be hard to square with the argument he does give. I argue for an interpretation of the passage that explains (...) the central importance of wisdom for Socrates without committing him to the sufficiency thesis. The result is that the Euthydemus displays a plausible but distinctively Socratic argument for making the pursuit of wisdom the central concern of one’s life. (shrink)
O presente artigo explica o que é e como funciona o método de análise lógica de Russell no contexto do atomismo lógico, apontando os objetivos e preceitos que ele leva em conta quando se propõe a fazer análises proposicionais. Após explorar o desenvolvimento geral da análise em sua obra, examinamos dois exemplos de análise proposicional: o de proposições relacionais e o de proposições que contêm descrições. Nos dois casos, notamos que Russell busca romper com uma lógica restrita à (...) forma sujeito-predicado, que ele pensava ser a origem de uma gramática defectiva e, por isso, também de muitos dos problemas metafísicos tradicionais. Neste sentido, presumindo que pode haver uma ampla variedade de formas, Russell pensa que o objetivo da análise seria justamente identificar qual é a forma lógica e quais são os constituintes de uma proposição, o que serviria para desfazer mal-entendidos da linguagem e dissolver problemas metafísicos. Portanto, no presente artigo, detalhamos sob quais preceitos teóricos Russell realiza esse objetivo nos dois exemplos especificados. (shrink)
This is the inaugural volume of the Plato Dialogue Project: it offers the first collective study of the Philebus - a high point of philosophical ethics, containing some of Plato's most sophisticated discussions of human happiness. The contributors work through the text, discussing pleasure, knowledge, philosophical method, and the human good.
In De Interpretatione 6-9, Aristotle considers three logical principles: the principle of bivalence, the law of excluded middle, and the rule of contradictory pairs (according to which of any contradictory pair of statements, exactly one is true and the other false). Surprisingly, Aristotle accepts none of these without qualification. I offer a coherent interpretation of these chapters as a whole, while focusing special attention on two sorts of statements that are of particular interest to Aristotle: universal statements not made universally (...) and future particular statements. With respect to the former, I argue that Aristotle takes them to be indeterminate and so to violate the rule of contradictory pairs. With respect to the latter, the subject of the much discussed ninth chapter, I argue that the rule of contradictory pairs, and not the principle of bivalence, is the focus of Aristotle's refutation. Nevertheless, Aristotle rejects bivalence for future particular statements. (shrink)
Are people at bottom motivated entirely by self-interest? Or do they act only sometimes out of self-interest, and sometimes for other reasons—say, to help out a friend for her own sake, with no expectation of being benefitted in return? Scholars have often thought they could discern in the works of classical Greek thinkers a commitment to psychological egoism, the thesis that one is motivated to act only by considerations of the expected benefits and harms that will accrue to oneself. For (...) instance, a host of influential interpreters have taken Plato to be wedded to psychological egoism throughout his corpus. Often, the commitment is thought to run so deep that Plato rarely, if ever, manages to articulate it explicitly, let alone to examine it critically and defend it. That kind of approach obviously invites challenges, and lately there has been a small but growing resistance to the egoistic interpretation of Plato. The challenges are especially welcome given the general lack of support for psychological egoism in the present intellectual climate: egoistic readings have increasingly seemed to imply a crippling weakness in the Platonic system. (shrink)
I argue that the problem of religious luck posed by Zagzebski poses a problem for the theory of hell proposed by Buckareff and Plug, according to which God adopts an open-door policy toward those in hell. Though escapism is not open to many of the criticisms Zagzebski raises against potential solutions to the problem of luck, escapism fails to solve the problem: it merely pushes luck forward into the afterlife. I suggest a hybrid solution to the problem which combines escapism (...) and the claim that God gives enough grace to those in hell to cancel out any bad moral luck. (shrink)