In this book, Scott Soames argues that the revolution in the study of language and mind that has taken place since the late nineteenth century must be rethought. The central insight in the reigning tradition is that propositions are representational. To know the meaning of a sentence or the content of a belief requires knowing which things it represents as being which ways, and therefore knowing what the world must be like if it is to conform to how the (...) sentence or belief represents it. These are truth conditions of the sentence or belief. But meanings and representational contents are not truth conditions, and there is more to propositions than representational content. In addition to imposing conditions the world must satisfy if it is to be true, a proposition may also impose conditions on minds that entertain it. The study of mind and language cannot advance further without a conception of propositions that allows them to have contents of both of these sorts. Soames provides it. He does so by arguing that propositions are repeatable, purely representational cognitive acts or operations that represent the world as being a certain way, while requiring minds that perform them to satisfy certain cognitive conditions. Because they have these two types of content—one facing the world and one facing the mind—pairs of propositions can be representationally identical but cognitively distinct. Using this breakthrough, Soames offers new solutions to several of the most perplexing problems in the philosophy of language and mind. (shrink)
The tradition descending from Frege and Russell has typically treated theories of meaning either as theories of meanings, or as theories of truth conditions. However, propositions of the classical sort don't exist, and truth conditions can't provide all the information required by a theory of meaning. In this book, one of the world's leading philosophers of language offers a way out of this dilemma. Traditionally conceived, propositions are denizens of a "third realm" beyond mind and matter, "grasped" by mysterious Platonic (...) intuition. As conceived here, they are cognitive-event types in which agents predicate properties and relations of things--in using language, in perception, and in nonlinguistic thought. Because of this, one's acquaintance with, and knowledge of, propositions is acquaintance with, and knowledge of, events of one's cognitive life. This view also solves the problem of "the unity of the proposition" by explaining how propositions can be genuinely representational, and therefore bearers of truth. The problem, in the traditional conception, is that sentences, utterances, and mental states are representational because of the relations they bear to inherently representational Platonic complexes of universals and particulars. Since we have no way of understanding how such structures can be representational, independent of interpretations placed on them by agents, the problem is unsolvable when so conceived. However, when propositions are taken to be cognitive-event types, the order of explanation is reversed and a natural solution emerges. Propositions are representational because they are constitutively related to inherently representational cognitive acts. Strikingly original, What Is Meaning? is a major advance. (shrink)
In this book one of the world's foremost philosophers of language presents his unifying vision of the field--its principal achievements, its most pressing current questions, and its most promising future directions. In addition to explaining the progress philosophers have made toward creating a theoretical framework for the study of language, Scott Soames investigates foundational concepts--such as truth, reference, and meaning--that are central to the philosophy of language and important to philosophy as a whole. The first part of the book (...) describes how philosophers from Frege, Russell, Tarski, and Carnap to Kripke, Kaplan, and Montague developed precise techniques for understanding the languages of logic and mathematics, and how these techniques have been refined and extended to the study of natural human languages. The book then builds on this account, exploring new thinking about propositions, possibility, and the relationship between meaning, assertion, and other aspects of language use. An invaluable overview of the philosophy of language by one of its most important practitioners, this book will be essential reading for all serious students of philosophy. (shrink)
What sorts of things are there in the world? Clearly enough, there are concrete, material things; but are there other things too, perhaps nonconcrete or non-material things? Some people believe that there are such things, which are often called abstract ; purported examples of such objects include numbers, properties, possible but non-actual states of affairs, propositions, and sets. Following a long-standing tradition, I shall describe persons who believe that there are abstract objects as ‘platonists’. In this paper, I shall not (...) directly address the plausibility of platonism, as compared with its rivals; instead, I shall confine my attention to one way in which some people have tried to combine platonism and theism. More specifically, I shall concentrate upon the claim that abstract objects depend upon God ontologically ; I shall argue that platonistic theists should reject DEP in favour of the claim that abstract objects exist independently of God . In order to evaluate the relative merits of DEP versus IND, it will be helpful to examine in some detail a particular articulation of DEP. When it comes to recent work on DEP, we can do no better in this regard than to examine the recent work of Thomas V. Morris and Christopher H. Menzel. According Morris and Menzel, there is a sense in which God literally creates such abstracta through engaging in intellective activities. (shrink)
Michael Polanyi was one of the great figures of European intellectual life in the 20th century. A highly acclaimed physical chemist in the first period of his career who became a celebrated philosopher after World War II, Polanyi taught in Germany, England, and the United States and associated with many of the leading intellects of his time. His biography has remained unwritten partly because his many and scattered interests in a wide variety of fields, including six subfields of physical chemistry, (...) epistemology, economics, patent law, social and political theory, aesthetics, and theology. This long-awaited volume will be the definitive resource on Polanyi and his work. (shrink)
Stakeholder theory is widely recognized as a management theory, yet very little research has considered its implications for individual managerial decision-making. In the two studies reported here, we used stakeholder theory to examine managerial decisions about balancing stakeholder interests. Results of Study 1 suggest that indivisible resources and unequal levels of stakeholder saliency constrain managers’ efforts to balance stakeholder interests. Resource divisibility also influenced whether managers used a within-decision or an across-decision approach to balance stakeholder interests. In Study 2 we (...) examined instrumental and normative implications of these two approaches. We conclude by considering the contributions of this research. (shrink)
Rights of Women attracted much UK media attention in late 2014 by bringing a judicial review that challenged the reduced provisions for family law legal aid available for victims of domestic violence: R v The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice  EWHC 35. In June 2015, within Rights of Women’s 40th anniversary year, Hannah Camplin interviewed the organisation’s Director Emma Scott about the decision to bring the judicial review, the advantages and challenges of the judicial review (...) process, and the experience of strategic litigation within the context of Rights of Women’s long history of campaigning for women’s rights. What emerged is a portrait of a feminist organisation in 2015, and, in a fast changing political and financial landscape, the dual importance of collaborative working and the need for flexibility in service provision and campaigning tools. (shrink)
Given its brevity, Plato's Meno covers an astonishingly wide array of topics: politics, education, virtue, definition, philosophical method, mathematics, the nature and acquisition of knowledge and immortality. Its treatment of these, though profound, is tantalisingly short, leaving the reader with many unresolved questions. This book confronts the dialogue's many enigmas and attempts to solve them in a way that is both lucid and sympathetic to Plato's philosophy. Reading the dialogue as a whole, it explains how different arguments are related to (...) one another and how the interplay between characters is connected to the philosophical content of the work. In a new departure, this book's exploration focuses primarily on the content and coherence of the dialogue in its own right and not merely in the context of other dialogues, making it required reading for all students of Plato, be they from the world of classics or philosophy. (shrink)
Historically, philosophers of biology have tended to sidestep the problem of development by focusing primarily on evolutionary biology and, more recently, on molecular biology and genetics. Quite often too, development has been misunderstood as simply, or even primarily, a matter of gene activation and regulation. Nowadays a growing number of philosophers of science are focusing their analyses on the complexities of development, and in Embryology, Epigenesis and Evolution Jason Scott Robert explores the nature of development against current trends in (...) biological theory and practice and looks at the interrelations between development and evolution , an area of resurgent biological interest. Clearly written, this book should be of interest to students and professionals in the philosophy of science and the philosophy of biology. (shrink)
A Scientific Approach The facts detailed in this briefing are the results of scientific exploration of terror networks and sacred values and their association to political violence. The research is sponsored by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the National Science Foundation.
Niche construction refers to the activities of organisms that bring about changes in their environments, many of which are evolutionarily and ecologically consequential. Advocates of niche construction theory (NCT) believe that standard evolutionary theory fails to recognize the full importance of niche construction, and consequently propose a novel view of evolution, in which niche construction and its legacy over time (ecological inheritance) are described as evolutionary processes, equivalent in importance to natural selection. Here, we subject NCT to critical evaluation, in (...) the form of a collaboration between one prominent advocate of NCT, and a team of skeptics. We discuss whether niche construction is an evolutionary process, whether NCT obscures or clarifies how natural selection leads to organismal adaptation, and whether niche construction and natural selection are of equivalent explanatory importance. We also consider whether the literature that promotes NCT overstates the significance of niche construction, whether it is internally coherent, and whether it accurately portrays standard evolutionary theory. Our disagreements reflect a wider dispute within evolutionary theory over whether the neo-Darwinian synthesis is in need of reformulation, as well as different usages of some key terms (e.g., evolutionary process). (shrink)
This volume offers a critical appreciation of the work of 16 leading curriculum theorists through critical expositions of their writings. Written by a leading name in Curriculum Studies, the book includes a balance of established curriculum thinkers and contemporary curriculum analysts from education as well as philosophy, sociology and psychology. With theorists from the UK, the US and Europe, there is also a spread of political perspectives from radical conservatism through liberalism to socialism and libertarianism. Theorists included are: John Dewey, (...) Lev Vygotsky, Ralph Tyler, Joseph Schwab, Jerome Bruner, Maxine Greene, Basil Bernstein, Micheal Foucault, Paul Hirst, Donald Schon, Lawrence Stenhouse, Elliott Eisner, John White, Michael Apple, Henry Giroux and Robin Usher. This book is ideal for students looking for an introduction to some of the key educational thinkers of our time. It can also be used as a companion volume to the Routledge four-volume set on Curriculum Theory , 2003, which is also edited by David Scott. (shrink)
"... stimulating and insightful... a thoroughly researched and timely contribution to the secondary literature of ethics... " —Library Journal "His important new work establishes Scott... as one of the foremost interpreters of the Continental philosophical tradition of the US.... Necessary for anyone working in ethics or the Continental tradition." —Choice "... a provocative discourse on the consequences of the ethical in the thought of Nietzsche, Foucault, and Heidegger." —The Journal of Religion Charles E. Scott's challenging book advances the (...) broad claim that ethics as a way of judging and thinking has come into question as philosophers have confronted suffering and conflicts that arise from our traditional systems of value. (shrink)
Global poverty measurement is important. It is used to allocate scarce resources, evaluate progress, and assess existing projects, policies, and institutional designs. But given the diversity of ways in which poverty is conceived, how can we settle on a conception and measure that can be used for interpersonal and inter-temporal global comparison? -/- This book lays out the key contemporary debates in poverty measurement, and provides a new analytical framework for thinking about poverty conception and measurement. Rather than trying to (...) find some essential meaning of poverty, the author recommends explicitly reflecting on the purposes served by the concept and the values that do and should inform our conceptions and measures. -/- After reviewing the strengths and weaknesses of five competing conceptions of poverty and their corresponding measures, the book concludes with specific recommendations for the future. Poverty measurement should be developed through a process of public reason that gives weight to the voices of those individuals who are most marginalized and deprived. The author suggests new values, desiderata, and candidate indicators that should be used in a pro-poor poverty measure. (shrink)
Toward the end of Hume's Dialogues concerning Natural Religion, Philo catalogues the ‘frivolous observances’, ‘rapturous ecstasies’ and ‘bigotted credulity’ of ‘vulgar superstition’, concluding that ‘true religion, I allow, has no such pernicious consequences: But we must treat of religion, as it has com monly been found in the world’. This would be a mild enough sort of caveat were it not nigh on impossible to determine exactly what counts as true religion, and how it figures in Hume's argument. Typically, answers (...) to this puzzle have required identifying the positions of the discussants, and then arguing that one of them represents Hume's views. A catalogue of the options may prove instructive. (shrink)
In this fascinating work, Scott Soames offers a new conception of the relationship between linguistic meaning and assertions made by utterances. He gives meanings of proper names and natural kind predicates and explains their use in attitude ascriptions. He also demonstrates the irrelevance of rigid designation in understanding why theoretical identities containing such predicates are necessary, if true.
Volume 1 examines the initial phase of the analytic tradition through the major contributions of three of its four founding giants—Gottlob Frege, Bertrand Russell, and G. E. Moore. Soames describes and analyzes their work in logic, the philosophy of mathematics, epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, and the philosophy of language. He explains how by about 1920 their efforts had made logic, language, and mathematics central to philosophy in an unprecedented way. But although logic, language, and mathematics were now seen as powerful tools (...) to attain traditional ends, they did not yet define philosophy. As volume 1 comes to a close, that was all about to change with the advent of the fourth founding giant, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and the 1922 English publication of his Tractatus, which ushered in a “linguistic turn” in philosophy that was to last for decades. (shrink)
This ambitious, interdisciplinary book seeks to explain the origins of religion using our knowledge of the evolution of cognition. A cognitive anthropologist and psychologist, Scott Atran argues that religion is a by-product of human evolution just as the cognitive intervention, cultural selection, and historical survival of religion is an accommodation of certain existential and moral elements that have evolved in the human condition.
Two currents of thought dominated Western philosophy in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: Continental Rationalism and British Empiricism. Despite the gradual dissemination of British ideas on the Continent in the first decades of the eighteenth century, these fundamentally disparate philosophical outlooks seemed to be wholly irreconcilable. However, the publication of Immanuel Kant's Critique of Pure Reason in 1781 presented an entirely new method of philosophical reasoning that promised to combine the virtues of Rationalism with the scientific rigour of Empiricism. This (...) book offers the first extended analysis of Kant's method of proof in philosophy. The author constructs a model based on Kant's own statements about his procedure and then examines his famous proofs in light of it. Great emphasis is placed on historical accuracy and the debunking of popular myths about Kant's aims and doctrines. The result is a compelling new picture of Kant that will challenge current assumptions. (shrink)
Pragmatism is America’s most distinctive philosophy. Generally it has been understood as a development of European thought in response to the "American wilderness." A closer examination, however, reveals that the roots and central commitments of pragmatism are indigenous to North America. Native Pragmatism recovers this history and thus provides the means to re-conceive the scope and potential of American philosophy. Pragmatism has been at best only partially understood by those who focus on its European antecedents. This book casts new light (...) on pragmatism’s complex origins and demands a rethinking of African American and feminist thought in the context of the American philosophical tradition. Scott L. Pratt demonstrates that pragmatism and its development involved the work of many thinkers previously overlooked in the history of philosophy. (shrink)
Fifty Key Sociologists: The Contemporary Theorists covers the life, work, ideas and impact of some of the most important thinkers in this discipline. Concentrating on figures writing predominantly in the second half of the twentieth century, such as Zygmunt Bauman, Pierre Bourdieu, Judith Butler, Michel Foucault and Claude Le;vi-Strauss, each entry includes: · full cross-referencing · a further reading section · biographical data · key works and ideas · critical assessment. Clearly presented in an easy-to-navigate A-Z format, this accessible reference (...) guide is ideal for undergraduate and postgraduate students of sociology, cultural studies and general studies, as well as other readers interested in this fascinating field. (shrink)
When originally published in 1952, this book filled a gap in the history of philosophy and science and remains an important work today, because it puts the main mathematical and physical discoveries of Descartes in an accessible form, for the benefit of English readers. Descartes is acknowledged to be the founder of modern mathematics, through his invention of analytical geometry and this volume charts Descartes’ role in bringing a unity into algebra and geometry and the development of mathematics into a (...) discipline which could be properly analysed. Carefully paraphrasing the Géométrie, this volume retains much of Descartes’ original notation as well as the original diagrams. The volume also discusses the considerable contribution that Descartes made to the physical sciences which involved accurate work in optics, light, sight and colour. (shrink)
Scott Sturgeon presents an original account of mental states and their dynamics. He develops a detailed story of coarse- and fine-grained mental states, a novel perspective on how they fit together, an engaging theory of the rational transitions between them, and a fresh view of how formal methods can advance our understanding in this area. In doing so, he addresses a deep four-way divide in literature on epistemic rationality. Formal epistemology is done in specialized languages--often seeming a lot more (...) like mathematics than Plato--and so can alienate philosophers who are drawn to more traditional work on thought experiments in epistemic rationality. Conversely, informal epistemology appears to be a lot more like Plato than mathematics and, as such, it tends to deter philosophers drawn to formal models of the phenomena. Similarly, the epistemology of coarse-grained states boils down everything to a discussion of rational belief--making the area appear a lot more like foundations of knowledge than anything useful for the theory rational decision, such as decision-making under uncertainty. The Rational Mind unifies work in all of these areas for the first time. (shrink)
There has been a flood of scholarship over the years on whether there is a “right to privacy” in the Constitution of the United States. Griswold v. Connecticut was, of course, the Supreme Court decision that opened the floodgates to this river of commentary. A subject search for “privacy, right of” in the College of William and Mary's on-line library catalog located 360 book titles. A perusal of the leading law review bibliographic indices turned up still more. Whether the Constitution (...) contains some sort of “right to be let alone” is plainly one of the central questions of contemporary constitutional discourse. (shrink)
In this book, Scott Soames illuminates the notion of truth and the role it plays in our ordinary thought as well as in our logical, philosophical, and scientific theories. Soames aims to integrate and deepen the most significant insights on truth from a variety of sources. He powerfully brings together the best technical work and the most important philosophical reflection on truth and shows how each can illuminate the other. Investigating such questions as whether we need a truth predicate (...) at all, what theoretical tasks it allows us to accomplish, and how we are to understand the content of any predicate capable of accomplishing these tasks, Soames organizes his discussion into three parts. Part I addresses crucial foundational issues as it identifies the bearers of truth, provides a basis for distinguishing truth from other notions, and formulates positive responses to well-known forms of truth-skepticism. Part II explicates the formal theories of Alfred Tarski and Saul Kripke and evaluates the philosophical significance of their work. It discusses their treatments of the Liar paradox, the relationship between truth and proof, the notion of a partially defined predicate, the concepts of logical truth and logical consequence, and the connection between truth and meaning. Part III extends important lessons drawn from Tarski and Kripke into new domains: vague predicates, the Sorites paradox, and the development of a larger, deflationary perspective on truth. Throughout the book, Soames examines a wide range of deflationary theories of truth, and attempts to separate what is correct and worth preserving in them from what is not. In doing so, he seeks to clear up many of the most significant philosophical doubts about truth. Written for a general audience while offering engaging material to the specialist, this rich study will be profitably read by both. (shrink)
[David Charles] Aristotle, it appears, sometimes identifies well-being with one activity, sometimes with several, including ethical virtue. I argue that this appearance is misleading. In the Nicomachean Ethics, intellectual contemplation is the central case of human well-being, but is not identical with it. Ethically virtuous activity is included in human well-being because it is an analogue of intellectual contemplation. This structure allows Aristotle to hold that while ethically virtuous activity is valuable in its own right, the best life available for (...) humans is centred around, but not wholly constituted by, intellectual contemplation. /// [Dominic Scott] In Nicomachean Ethics X 7-8, Aristotle distinguishes two kinds of eudaimonia, primary and secondary. The first corresponds to contemplation, the second to activity in accordance with moral virtue and practical reason. My task in this paper is to elucidate this distinction. Like Charles, I interpret it as one between paradigm and derivative cases; unlike him, I explain it in terms of similarity, not analogy. Furthermore, once the underlying nature of the distinction is understood, we can reconcile the claim that paradigm eudaimonia consists just in contemplation with a passage in the first book requiring eudaimonia to involve all intrinsic goods. (shrink)
In ‘Two Notions of Being: Entity and Essence’ E. J. Lowe defends “serious essentialism”. Serious essentialism is the position that everything has an essence, essences are not themselves things, and essences are the ground for metaphysical necessity and possibility. Lowe's defence of serious essentialism is both metaphysical and epistemological. In what follows I use Lowe's discussion as a point of departure for, first, adding some considerations for the plausibility of essentialism and, second, some work on modal epistemology.
Although "the Socratic method" is commonly understood as a style of pedagogy involving cross-questioning between teacher and student, there has long been debate among scholars of ancient philosophy about how this method as attributed to Socrates should be defined or, indeed, whether Socrates can be said to have used any single, uniform method at all distinctive to his way of philosophizing. This volume brings together essays by classicists and philosophers examining this controversy anew. The point of departure for many of (...) those engaged in the debate has been the identification of Socratic method with "the elenchus" as a technique of logical argumentation aimed at refuting an interlocutor, which Gregory Vlastos highlighted in an influential article in 1983. The essays in this volume look again at many of the issues to which Vlastos drew attention but also seek to broaden the discussion well beyond the limits of his formulation. Some contributors question the suitability of the elenchus as a general description of how Socrates engages his interlocutors; others trace the historical origins of the kinds of argumentation Socrates employs; others explore methods in addition to the elenchus that Socrates uses; several propose new ways of thinking about Socratic practices. Eight essays focus on specific dialogues, each examining why Plato has Socrates use the particular methods he does in the context defined by the dialogue. Overall, representing a wide range of approaches in Platonic scholarship, the volume aims to enliven and reorient the debate over Socratic method so as to set a new agenda for future research. Contributors are Hayden W. Ausland, Hugh H. Benson, Thomas C. Brickhouse, Michelle Carpenter, John M. Carvalho, Lloyd P. Gerson, Francisco J. Gonzalez, James H. Lesher, Mark McPherran, Ronald M. Polansky, Gerald A. Press, François Renaud, and W. Thomas Schmid, Nicholas D. Smith, P. Christopher Smith, Harold Tarrant, Joanne B. Waugh, and Charles M. Young. (shrink)
In this paper I present a new objection to the Aristotelian Naturalism defended by Philippa Foot. I describe this objection as a membership objection because it reveals the fact that AN invites counterexamples when pressed to identify the individuals bound by its normative claims. I present three examples of agents for whom the norms generated by AN are not obviously authoritative: mutants, aliens, and the Great Red Dragon. Those who continue to advocate for Foot's view can give compelling replies to (...) the first two of these examples, but their replies drive the view into an unwelcome result when it faces the last example. I conclude that the concept of being human, on which AN crucially depends, is not as straightforward as Foot's advocates presume. (shrink)
In this article, we propose a novel account of general jurisprudence by situating it within the broader project of metanormative inquiry. We begin by showing how general jurisprudence is parallel to another well-known part of that project, namely, metaethics. We then argue that these projects all center on the same task: explaining how a certain part of thought, talk, and reality fits into reality overall. Metalegal inquiry aims to explain how legal thought, talk, and reality fit into reality. General jurisprudence (...) is the part of metalegal inquiry that focuses on universal legal thought, talk, and reality. (shrink)