Though he maintained a significant interest in theoretical aspects of measurement, Henry E. Kyburg, Jr. was critical of the representational theory that in many ways has come to dominate discussions concerning the foundations of measurement. In particular, Kyburg (in Savage and Ehrlich (eds) Philosophical and foundational issues in measurement theory, 1992 ) asserts that the representational theory of measurement, as introduced in (Scott and Suppes, Journal of Symbolic Logic, 23:113–128, 1958 ) and developed in (Krantz et al., Foundations (...) of measurment: additive and polynomial representations. Academic Press, 1971 ), cannot account for the measurement of error. The present work examines and responds to this charge. (shrink)
Our purpose in this study – which stands at the crossroads of contemporary philosophy, anthropology, and religious studies – is to assess critically the plea for radical contingency in contemporary thought, with special attention to the work of Meillassoux, in light, among other things, of the symptomatic presence of Pauline motifs in the late twentieth to early twenty first-century philosophical arena, from Vattimo to Agamben and especially Badiou. Drawing on Aristotle’s treatment of τύχη and Hilan Bensusan’s neo-monadology (as well as (...) on the network biology of David George Haskell, Scott Gilbert’s holobiont hypothesis, and Terrence Deacon’s teleo-dynamics), we ask what is missing in such plea, from a theoretical standpoint. Next, we examine the relation between radical contingency and worldlessness in dialogue with Leroi-Gourhan’s theory of biocultural evolution, Lévi-Strauss’s structural anthropology, Pierre Clastres’s ethnography, Heidegger’s philosophy of language, and contemporary authors like Eduardo Viveiros de Castro and Patrice Maniglier. These two parallel lines of inquiry help us explore what radical contingency, in turn, prevents us from thinking: the intersection of ontology, cosmopolitics, and modality. (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.
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)
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)
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)
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)
Article III of the U.S. Constitution establishes an independent federal judiciary: federal courts constitute a separate branch of the national government, federal judges enjoy tenure during good behavior, and their salaries cannot be diminished while they hold office. The framers who drafted Article III in 1787 were not working from whole cloth. Rather, they were familiar with the preceding colonial and state practices, including those from New York. This essay provides a case study of New York's judicial history: the Dutch (...) period, 1621-1664; the Ducal proprietary period, 1664-1685; the Royal period, 1685-1776; and the early state period. As will be seen, New York—among the most significant of the original thirteen states—was a state groping towards a new ideal of judicial independence: an ideal that became a reality a decade after its own constitution was enacted in 1777 and at a different level of government. Significantly, the uncertain status of New York's judiciary had profound consequences for the ultimate expression of judicial independence, judicial review. (shrink)
It is hard to think of a more banal statement one could make about the law than to say that it necessarily claims legal authority to govern conduct. What, after all, is a legal institution if not an entity that purports to have the legal power to create rules, confer rights, and impose obligations? Whether legal institutions necessarily claim the moral authority to exercise their legal powers is another question entirely. Some legal theorists have thought that they do—others have not (...) been so sure. But no one has ever denied that the law holds itself out as having the legal authority to tell us what we may or may not do. (shrink)
"Every word, like a sacred object, has its place. No _précis_ is possible. This extraordinary book must be read."—Edmund Carpenter, _New York Times Book Review _ "No outline is possible; I can only say that reading this book is a most exciting intellectual exercise in which dialectic, wit, and imagination combine to stimulate and provoke at every page."—Edmund Leach, _Man _ "Lévi-Strauss's books are tough: very scholarly, very dense, very rapid in argument. But once you have mastered him, human history (...) can never be the same, nor indeed can one's view of contemporary society. And his latest book, _The Savage Mind_, is his most comprehensive and certainly his most profound. Everyone interested in the history of ideas _must_ read it; everyone interested in human institutions _should _read it."—J. H. Plumb, _Saturday Review_ "A constantly stimulating, informative and suggestive intellectual challenge."—Geoffrey Gorer, _The Observer_, London. (shrink)
The modern conception of race is often thought by philosophers to have developed during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in response to a unique confluence of scientific, philosophical, and imperial forces; and in recent decades some impressive work has been done to excavate the details of its construction during this period. . . . I will argue, however, that an analysis of the visual images created by Europeans during the first half-century after 1492 reveals that the essential elements of the (...) late modern conception of race are put into place during that period. In brief, the tremendous social, economic, and political pressures that culminate in this comparatively brief moment yield the modern notion of "the savage." I will suggest that from its inception this notion is an inherently radicalized one, and that it is the nodal point for the more familiar eighteenth- and nineteenth-century understandings of non-European races. Moreover, I will argue that the modern notion of the savage is synthesized, not directly from the Noachic legends, but from images drawn, sometimes literally, on the margins of medieval understandings of humanity: powerful and deeply entrenched images of the Wild Man and the monstrous races. (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)
This paper revisits a 2003 publication in Nursing Philosophy: The need for accurate perception and informed judgement in determining the appropriate use of the nursing resource: hearing the patient's voice. The author suggests that the basic ideas and focus of this 16‐year‐old paper are still topical and relevant in considerations of nursing care. However, it is also suggested that greater attention to the importance of the nurse–patient relationship in considerations of resource allocation, and potential rationing of nursing care, would have (...) strengthened the original paper. (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)
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.
This essay offers only a broad description of a possible comparison between 'savage democracy' in the terms of Claude Lefort and the 'principle of anarchy' according to Reiner Schurmann. First, I shall try to define savage democracy. Then, in a second move, after having clarified Schurmann's principle of anarchy, I shall outline the terms for a possible confrontation of their respective views. The point here is to show the extent to which the contextualization of democracy with anarchy, considered (...) as principle, is of a nature to bring out democracy's most 'savage' characteristics - but without for all that concealing the difficulties that this perspective provokes or reveals. Indeed, it is precisely by returning to and excavating the gap between anarchy and principle that one most closely approaches the 'savage essence' of democracy. Key Words: anarchy democracy domination Heidegger Lefort Machiavelli politics savage democracy Schurmann totalitarianism. (shrink)
This paper identifies ‘savage numbers’ – number-like or number-replacing concepts and practices attributed to peoples viewed as civilizationally inferior – as a crucial and hitherto unrecognized body of evidence in the first two decades of the Victorian science of prehistory. It traces the changing and often ambivalent status of savage numbers in the period after the 1858–1859 ‘time revolution’ in the human sciences by following successive reappropriations of an iconic 1853 story from Francis Galton's African travels. In response (...) to a fundamental lack of physical evidence concerning prehistoric men, savage numbers offered a readily available body of data that helped scholars envisage great extremes of civilizational lowliness in a way that was at once analysable and comparable, and anecdotes like Galton's made those data vivid and compelling. Moreover, they provided a simple and direct means of conceiving of the progressive scale of civilizational development, uniting societies and races past and present, at the heart of Victorian scientific racism. (shrink)
Maps of mankind -- The world turned upside down: Mandeville -- Between two saddles: Montaigne -- Climactic harmonies: Bodin -- St. Confucius: the Jesuits in China -- Distant relations: the Jesuits in New France -- Ancients, moderns, and others: Fontenelle and Temple -- The specter of despotism: Montesquieu and Voltaire -- Savage critics: Lahontan, Rousseau, and Diderot -- From savagery to decadence: Ferguson, Millar, and Gibbon -- Cultural critique: Herder -- "Others" are good to think.
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)
Standard rigid designator accounts of a name’s meaning have trouble accommodating what I will call a descriptive name’s “shifty” character -- its tendency to shift its referent over time in response to a discovery that the conventional referent of that name does not satisfy the description with which that name was introduced. I offer a variant of Kripke’s historical semantic theory of how names function, a variant that can accommodate the character of descriptive names while maintaining rigidity for proper names. (...) A descriptive name’s shiftiness calls for a semantic account of names that makes their semantic values bipartite, containing both traditional semantic contents and what I call "modes of introduction." Both parts of a name's semantic value are derived from the way a name gets introduced into discourse -- from what I refer to as its "context of introduction." Making a name's semantic value bipartite in this way allows for a definite description to be a part of proper name's meaning without thereby sacrificing that name’s status as a rigid designator. On my view, a definite description is part of descriptive name’s mode of introduction. That is, it is part of what determines the content assigned to that name. As it turns out, making a definite description part of a descriptive name’s mode of introduction allows for that definite description to play the role of a mere reference-fixer regarding that name’s content, as Kripke would have it. However, my account allows a definite description to fix a descriptive name’s content actively over time, thereby explaining its inherent shiftiness. (shrink)
Exploring Law's Empire is a collection of essays by leading legal theorists and philosophers who have been invited to develop, defend, or critique Ronald Dworkin's controversial and exciting jurisprudence. The volume explores Dworkin's critique of legal positivism, his theory of law as integrity, and his writings on constitutional jurisprudence. Each essay is a cutting-edge contribution to its field of inquiry, the highlights of which include an introduction by Justice Stephen Breyer of the United States Supreme Court, and a concluding essay (...) by Dworkin himself. This final chapter responds to the preceding essays and lays out Dworkin's own vision for the future of jurisprdence over the coming years. (shrink)