Marcus argues that moral dilemmas are real, but that they are not the result of inconsistent moral principles. Moral principles are consistent just in case there is some world where all principles are 'obeyable.' They are inconsistent just in case there is no world where all are 'obeyable.' What this logical point is meant to show is that moral dilemmas do not make moral codes inconsistent. She also discusses guilt, and argues that guilt is still appropriate even in cases of (...) conflict, even when the agent thinks the right thing to do is clear. (shrink)
Four questions are raised about the semantics of Quantified Modal Logic. Does QML admit possible objects, i.e. possibilia? Is it plausible to admit them? Can sense be made of such objects? Is QML committed to the existence of possibilia? The conclusions are that QML, generalized as in Kripke, would seem to accommodate possibilia, but they are rejected on philosophical and semantical grounds. Things must be encounterable, directly nameable and a part of the actual order before they may plausibly enter into (...) the identity relation. QML is not committed to possibilia in that the range of variables may be restricted to actual objects. Support of the conclusions requires some discussion of substitution puzzles; also, the semantical distinction between proper names which are directly referring, and descriptions even where the latter are "rigid designators". Views of W.V. Quine, B. Russell, K. Donnellan, D. Kaplan as well as S. Kripke are invoked or evaluated in conjunction with these issues. (shrink)
Alternative readings of quantification are considered. The absence of an unequivocal translation into ordinary speech is noted. Some examples are cited which, in the opinion of the author, are a result of equivocal readings of quantification, or unnecessarily restrictive readings which obscure its primary function.
Metaphysics and language: Quine, W. V. O. On the individuation of attributes. Körner, S. On some relations between logic and metaphysics. Marcus, R. B. Does the principle of substitutivity rest on a mistake? Van Fraassen, B. C. Platonism's pyrrhic victory. Martin, R. M. On some prepositional relations. Kearns, J. T. Sentences and propositions.--Basic and combinatorial logic: Orgass, R. J. Extended basic logic and ordinal numbers. Curry, H. B. Representation of Markov algorithms by combinators.--Implication and consistency: Anderson, A. R. Fitch on (...) consistency. Belnap, N. D., Jr. Grammatical propaedeutic. Thomason, R. H. Decidability in the logic of conditionals. Myhill, J. Levels of implication.--Deontic, epistemic, and erotetic logic: Bacon, J. Belief as relative knowledge. Wu, K. J. Believing and disbelieving. Kordig, C. R. Relativized deontic modalities. Harrah, D. A system for erotetic sentences. (shrink)
Modality, morality and belief are among the most controversial topics in philosophy today, and few philosophers have shaped these debates as deeply as Ruth Barcan Marcus. Inspired by her work, a distinguished group of philosophers explore these issues, refine and sharpen arguments and develop new positions on such topics as possible worlds, moral dilemmas, essentialism, and the explanation of actions by beliefs. This 'state of the art' collection honours one of the most rigorous and iconoclastic of philosophical pioneers.
Common sense explanations of human action are often framed in terms of an agent's beliefs and desires. Recent widely received views also take believing and desiring as attitudes of an agent to linguistic or quasi‐linguistic entities. It is here claimed that such a narrow view of cognitive attitudes is not supportable, since even among lingual non‐verbal responses are often overriding evidence for belief and desire, even where they run counter to sincere verbal assents. The view is also curiously non naturalistic (...) in that it disallows ascribing beliefs and desires altogether to non‐lingual and pre‐lingual. In the present paper a “common sense” explanation of action in accordance with the triad Desire, Belief, Action, is seen as a useful phenomenological “theory” provided that language centrality is not taken as essential. (shrink)
Based on her earlier ground-breaking axiomatization of quantified modal logic, the papers collected here by the distinguished philosopher Ruth Barcan Marcus cover much ground in the development of her thought, spanning from 1961 to 1990. The first essay here introduces themes initially viewed as iconoclastic, such as the necessity of identity, the directly referential role of proper names as "tags", the Barcan Formula about the interplay of possibility and existence, and alternative interpretations of quantification. Marcus also addresses the putative puzzles (...) about substitutivity and about essentialism. The collection also includes influential essays on moral conflict, on belief and rationality, and on some historical figures. Many of her views have been incorporated into current theories, while others remain part of a continuing debate. (shrink)
This collection of Marcus's non-technical essays include her earlier ground-breaking axiomatizations of quantified modal logic, and explore such topics as the necessity of identity, the directly referential role of proper names as "tags", the interplay of possibility and existence, and others viewed as iconoclastic when Marcus first addressed them, but now long incorporated into current discussion.
Four questions are raised about the semantics of Quantified Modal Logic. Does QML admit possible objects, i.e. possibilia? Is it plausible to admit them? Can sense be made of such objects? Is QML committed to the existence of possibilia?The conclusions are that QML, generalized as in Kripke, would seem to accommodate possibilia, but they are rejected on philosophical and semantical grounds. Things must be encounterable, directly nameable and a part of the actual order before they may plausibly enter into the (...) identity relation. QML is not committed to possibiha in that the range of variables may be restricted to actual objects.Support of the conclusions requires some discussion of substitution puzzles; also, the semantical distinction between proper names which are directly referring, and descriptions even where the latter are "rigid designators".Views of W.V. Quine, B. Russell, K. Donnellan, D. Kaplan as well as S. Kripke are invoked or evaluated in conjunction with these issues. (shrink)
Summary In this paper some claims of Professor Ricoeur are challenged. It is pointed out on historical grounds that counter to Professor Ricoeur's claim, most past philosophies are displaced, or ignored. The surviving canon is small and very selective. There is, therefore, substantial agreement on the large corpus which is rejected. It is also argued that Professor Ricoeur's contrast between philosophy and the sciences is too sharp since in the history of modern sciences there are always conflicting theories existing in (...) parallel. However, it is the case that in philosophy standards of “acceptability” are looser and not the rigorous ones of science. A philosophical theory may be appreciated for the problems it discloses, the richness and subtlety of its arguments, its strategies and the like despite acknowledged failings. Appreciation of incompatible theories is not irrational. The claim is rejected that the seeming irrationality is resolved by viewing each system as wholly autonomous. The apparent restriction of philosophy by Professor Ricoeur to global systems is also questioned.RésuméL'auteur conteste quelques affirmations du prof. Ricoeur. Elle montre, sur des bases historiques, que beaucoup de philosophies passées sont écartées ou ignorées. Le canon retenu est petit et très sélectif. Il y a donc un accord substantiel quant au vaste corpus qui est rejeté. Elle montre aussi que le contraste que le professeur Ricoeur établit entre philosophie et sciences est trop abrupt, puisqu'il y a toujours eu, dans l'histoire de la science moderne, des théories opposées qui coexistaient. Toutefois, il est vrai qu'en philosophie, les standards d' »acceptabilité« sont plus lǎches et diffèrent de ceux, plus rigoureux, de la science. Une philosophie peut ětre appréciée pour les problèmes qu'elle pose, pour la richesse et la subtilité de ses arguments, ses stratégies ou d'autres choses semblables et ceci en dépit de ses insuffisances notoires. Il n'est pas irrationnel d'apprécier des théories incompatibles. Elle rejette la thèse selon laquelle le fait de considérer chaque système comme totalement autonome supprime l'irrationalité. Elle conteste enfin la restriction — apparemment faite par le professeur Ricoeur — de la philosophie à des systèmes globaux.ZusammenfassungEs werden einige Behauptungen von Professor Ricoeur in Frage gestellt. Es wird gezeigt, dass aus historischen Gründen entgegen Ricoeurs Behauptung die meisten vergangenen Philosophien tatsächlich verdrängt oder ignoriert werden. Der überlebende Kanon ist gering und selektiv. Deshalb gibt es eine wichtige Übereinstimmung hinsichtlich des grossen Korpus', der verworfen wird. Es wird argumentiert, dass Ricoeur den Kontrast zwischen der Philosophie und den Wissenschaften zu extrem sieht, da in der Geschichte der modernen Wissenschaften immer rivalisierende Theorien nebeneinander existiert haben. Es stimmt allerdings, dass die Massstäbe für Akzeptierbarkeit in der Philosophie lockerer sind als die strengen der Wisschenschaft. Eine philosophische Theorie mag wegen der Probleme, die sie entwickelt, wegen des Reichtums und der Subtilität ihrer Argumente, ihrer Strategien etc. gewürdigt werden, obschon sie anerkanntermassen versagt hat. Die Würdigung unvereinbarer Theorien ist nicht irrational. Die scheinbare Irrationalität kann nicht dadurch aufgelöst werden, dass jedes System als völlig autonom betrachtet wird. Es wird ebenfalls Ricoeurs Einschränkung der Philosophie auf globale Systeme in Frage gestellt. (shrink)
In Portraits of American Philosophy eight of America's leading philosophers offer autobiographical narratives, reminding us that the life of a scholar is both a personal struggle and an adventure in ideas. Selected from the prestigious John Dewey Lectures, these reminiscences provide personal perspectives on how a generation of scholars faced barriers built on prejudices of religion, race, gender, and sexual orientation, while being affected by the Civil Rights Movement, the Vietnam War, and feminism.