In this paper I discuss some issues concerning the semantics of set theory. The set-theoretical nature of the semantics of axiomatic set theory raises a problem of circularity. It is well-known that when we adopt the model-theoretic point of view in the study of mathematical theories we decide to consider primarily structures in their relationship with languages. But for the fundamental structure adopted in a set-theoretic setting, namely the collection of all sets, together with the relation of membership, we would (...) have in that case a structure whose universe would be a set, and at the same time it would have the power of the collection of all sets. This is precisely the origin of the fundamental problem in the semantics of set theory. Apparently, the recourse to an intuitive or pre-theoretic semantics in terms of the iterative conception of sets is unavoidable. However, this strategy doesn´t seem to solve some basic philosophical topics involved and linked to the central semantic problem of set theory, namely, how to understand quantification over the totality of sets. Finally, I put forward some meta-philosophical considerations concerning the semantic problem I deal with. (shrink)
Sandra Harding’s Objectivity and Diversity deals with the epistemic and political limitations of a conception of scientific objectivity that, according to the author, is still in force in our societies. However, in this conception of objectivity, diversity (e.g., of individuals and communities of knowledge, but also, and especially, agendas, models of participation and even styles of reasoning in decision making) still plays a limited and undeserved role.
The precise nature of W. S. Jevons's utilitarianism as a guiding rule for economic policy has yet to be investigated, and that will be the first issue treated in this paper. While J. A. Schumpeter, for instance, asserted that ‘some of the most prominent exponents of marginal utility’, were ‘convinced utilitarians’, he did not investigate the further implications for Jevons's policy analysis.
In Unsimple truths, Sandra D. Mitchell examines the historical context of current scientific practices and elaborates the challenges complexity has since posed to status quo science and policymaking. Mitchell criticizes models of science inspired by Newtonian physics and argues for a pragmatistic, anti-universalist approach to science. In this review, I focus on what I find to be the most important point of the book, Mitchell’s argument for the conceptual independence of compositional materialism and descriptive fundamentalism. Along the way, I (...) provide a description of Mitchell’s overall project and a road map of the book. (shrink)
Although intersectionality has been widely disseminated across the disciplines as a tool to center women of color's developed perspectives on social reality, it has been notably absent in the scholarship of feminist philosophy and philosophy of race. I first examine the causes and processes of the exclusions of women of color feminist thought more generally, and of intersectionality in particular. Then, focusing attention on Black feminisms, I read Sandra Jackson-Opoku's 1997 novel, The River Where Blood Is Born, with and (...) against Paget Henry's Africana ethnophilosophy. I model an interdisciplinary, intersectional approach to Henry's ethnophilosophy, broadening its philosophical scope by historicizing the liminality that characterizes the realities of many diasporic Black women. I also develop an interpretation of the female protagonists to suggest how many Black women within different historical contexts develop practices to recover African symbolic and discursive registers as a means to claim their subjectivities. Additionally, I challenge Henry's teleological explanation for an increasingly secular Africana philosophical identity. (shrink)
The recent Supreme Court decision upholding Roe v. Wade and in particular, the dissent by Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, sheds new light on the issue of abortion. Let us consider any stage of a pregnancy when abortion is medically safe for the mother. If at that stage it is also medically viable to save the fetus, is an abortion performed at that stage of pregnancy morally justifiable? For example, if it is, or becomes, medically safe to perform abortions after (...) first trimester of pregnancy and at the same time saving a fetus is, or becomes, medically viable or not unusual during some stage of the second trimester, can abortions during and after that stage of pregnancy be justified? With a number of qualifications I shall argue the thesis that as a general rule, but not an absolute rule, abortion in these instances is not usually justifiable. For if it is, then one will also have to grant the moral justification for a number of other highly questionable medical practices. This thesis is not to be identified with the stronger claim that abortions of viable fetuses can never be performed. There are surely exceptions such as when the life or health of the mother is in danger. But, I shall argue, the justification for making such exceptions is on different grounds than is sometimes claimed because one must weigh the health of the mother against the life of another human being. (shrink)
Angels of Power, by Australian lesbian playwright Sandra Shotlander, illustrates political strategies described by American lesbian philosopher Jeffner Allen. In the play three female members of Australian parliament align to force regulation of new reproductive technologies. Using essentialist, materialist, liberal, and radical feminist arguments, the characters practice sinuous strategies through loading and layering female signs (intertextuality) in order to eradicate patriarchal signification and reenact a contemporary version of ancient Amazons taking over the Acropolis.