Designers’ intentions are important for determining an artifact’s proper function (i.e., its perceived real function). However, there are disagreements regarding why. In one view, people reason causally about artifacts’ functional outcomes, and designers’ intended functions become important to the extent that they allow inferring outcomes. In another view, people use knowledge of designers’ intentions to determine proper functions, but this is unrelated to causal reasoning, having perhaps to do with intentional or social forms of reasoning (e.g., authority). Regarding these latter (...) social factors, researchers have proposed that designers’ intentions operate through a mechanism akin to social conventions, and that therefore both are determinants of proper function. In the current work, participants learned about an object’s creation, about social conventions for its use and about a specific episode where the artifact was used. The function implemented by the user could be aligned with the designer’s intended function, the social convention, both, or neither (i.e., an opportunistic use). Importantly, the use episode always resulted in an accident. Data show that the accident negatively affected proper function judgments and perceived efficiency for conventional and opportunistic functions, but not for designers’ intended functions. This is inconsistent with the view that designers’ intentions are conceptualized as causes of functional outcomes and with the idea that designers’ intentions and social conventions operate through a common mechanism. (shrink)
Presenta a grandes rasgos su tesis doctoral. Dentro del marco de la teoría de los afectos, Spinoza sostiene una tesis sobre la alienación a partir de la imaginación y del tiempo, para ello produce una teoría del tiempo y, fundamentalmente, una teoría de las intensidades que sirve para explicar la ilusión.
This paper studies the concept of memory as understood in Spinoza’s body of work, focusing mainly on E 2P18. The main features of memory’s functioning are explained across three conceptual axes: affectio, vestigium and concatenation. These shape Spinoza’s own argumentation in the cited proposition and also recall Aristotle’s theory on memory’s function and functioning. The link between both theories helps transversely to elucidate Spinoza’s position regarding the problem of the identity of the individual.
This is one more edition of Voltaire's "Candide", meant to highlight the wealth of philosophical and theological discussions hidden behind the apparently innocent veil of the most renowned fable of modernity. The rather extended apparatus accordingly consists of a series of short chapters by Filippo Bruni on the Enlightenment and Metaphysics, and in more detail, on theology, Free choice, the problem of evil, and happiness in an imperfect world and another by Sergio Cremaschi on the Enlightenment and morality, and (...) in more detail on moral universalism, on religion without metaphysics, toleration, and pacifism. -/- Table of contents I. Before the text A trick for priests A scandalous book Garden with view -/- II. Text Candide or optimism -/- III. Context Biography 1. The seven years war 2. Calvinists and Socinians 3. Jiansenists and Gesuits 4. Marranos and inquisitors 5. Conquistadores and slave-traders 6. Paraguay under the Jesuits -/- IV. Co-text 1. Enlightenment and Metaphysics 1.1. Theology 1.2. Free choice 1.3. The problem of evil 1.4. Being happy in an imperfect world -/- 2. Enlightenment and morality 2.1. Universal morality 2.2. Religion without Metaphysics 2.3. Toleration 2.4. Pacifism -/- 3. Enlightenment and the images of other places 3.1. The image of Eldorado 3.2. The image of Paraguay 3.3 The image of the Islamic world 3.4. The image of the Jew -/- 4. The conte philosophique -/- Bibliography Lexicon Index of names and concepts -/- V. Reader’s guide. (shrink)
● Sergio Cremaschi, The non-existing Island. I discuss the way in which the cleavage between the Continental and the Anglo-American philosophies originated, the (self-)images of both philosophical worlds, the converging rediscoveries from the Seventies, as well as recent ecumenic or anti-ecumenic strategies. I argue that pragmatism provides an important counter-instance to both the familiar self-images and to the fashionable ecumenic or anti-ecumenic strategies. My conclusions are: (i) the only place where Continental philosophy exists (as Euro-Communism one decade ago) is (...) America; (ii) less obviously, also analytic philosophy does not exist, or does no more exist as a current or a paradigm; what does exist is, on the one hand, philosophy of language and, on the other, philosophy of mind, that is, two disciplines; (iii) the dissolution of analytic philosophy as a school has been extremely fruitful, precisely in so far as it has left room for disciplines and research programmes; (iv) what is left, of the Anglo-American/Continental cleavage is primarily differences in styles, depending partly on intellectual traditions, partly owing to sociology, history, institutional frameworks; these differences should not be blurred by rash ecumenism; besides, theoretical differences are alive as ever, but within both camps; finally, there is indeed a lag (not a difference) in the appropriation of intellectual techniques by most schools of 'Continental' philosophy, and this should be overcome through appropriation of what the best 'analytic' philosophers have produced. -/- ● Michael Strauss, Language and sense-perception: an aspect of analytic philosophy. To test an assertion about one fact by comparing it with perceived reality seems quite unproblematic. But the very possibility of such a procedure is incompatible with the intellectualistic basis of logical positivism and atomism (as it is for example to be found in Russell's Analysis of Mind). According to the intellectualistic approach pure sensation is meaningless. Sensation receives its meaning and order from the intellect through interpretation, which is performed with the help of linguistic tools, i.e. words and sentences. Before being interpreted, sensation is not a picture or a representation, it is neither true nor false, neither an illusion nor knowledge; it does not tell us anything; it is a lifeless and order-less matter. But how can a thought (or a proposition) be compared with such a lifeless matter? This difficulty confronts the intellectualist, if on the one hand he admits the necessity of comparing thought with sense-perception, and on the other hand presupposes that we possess only intellectual and no immediate perceptual understanding of what we see and hear. In this paper I give a critical exposition of three attempts, made by Russell, Neurath and Wittgenstein, to solve this problem. The first attempt adheres to strict conventionalism, the second tends to naturalism and the third leads to an amended, very moderate version of conventionalism. This amended conventionalism looks at sense impressions as being a peculiar language, which includes primary symbols, i.e. symbols not founded on convention and not being in need of interpretation. -/- ● Ernst Tugendhat, Phenomenology and language analysis. The paper, first published in German in 1970, by which Tugendhat gave a start to the German rediscovery of analytic philosophy. The author stages a confrontation between phenomenology and language analysis. He argues that language analysis does not differ from phenomenology as far as the topics dealt with are concerned; instead, both currents are quite different in method. The author argues that language-analytic philosophy does not simply lay out of the mainstream of transcendental philosophy, but that instead it challenges this tradition on the very level of foundations. The author criticizes the linguistic-analytic approach centred on the subject as well as any object-centred approach, while proposing inter-subjective understanding through language as the new universal framework. This is, when construed in so general terms, the same program of hermeneutics, though in a more basic version. -/- ● Jürgen Habermas, Language game, intention and meaning. On a few suggestions by Sellars and Wittgenstein. -/- The paper, first published in German in 1975, in which Habermas announces his own linguistic turn through a discovery of speech acts. In this essay the author wants to work out a categorical framework for a communicative theory of society; he takes Wittgenstein's concept of language game as a Leitfade and, besides, he takes advantage also of Wilfried Sellars's quasi-transcendental account of the genesis of intentionality. His goal is to single out the problems connected with a theory of consciousness oriented in a logical-linguistic sense. -/- ● Zvie Bar-On, Isomorphism of speech acts and intentional states. -/- This essay presents the problem of the formal relationship between speech acts and intentional states as an essential part of the perennial philosophical question of the relation between language and thought. I attempt to show how this problem had been dealt with by two prominent philosophers of different camps in our century, Edmund Husserl and John Searle. Both of them wrote extensively about the theory of intentionality. I point out an interesting, as it were unintended, continuity of their work on that theory. Searle started where Husserl left off 80 years earlier. Their meeting point could be used as the first clue in our search. They both adopted in effect the same distinction between two basic aspects of the intentional experience: its content or matter, and its quality or mode. Husserl did not yet have the concept of a speech act as contradistinguished from an intentional state. The working hypothesis, however, which he suggested, could be used as a second clue for the further elaboration of the theory. The relationship of the two levels, the mental and the linguistic, which remained for Husserl in the background only, became the cornerstone of Searle' s inquiry. He employed the speech act as the model and analysed the intentional experience by means of the conceptual apparatus of his own theory of speech acts. This procedure enabled him to mark out a number of parallelisms and correlations between the two levels. This procedure explains the phenomenon of the partial isomorphism of speech acts and intentional states. -/- ● Roberta de Monticelli, Ontology. A dialogue among the linguistic philosopher, the naturalist, and the phenomenological philosopher. -/- This paper proposes a comparison between two main ways of conceiving the role and scope of that fundamental part of philosophy (or of "first" philosophy) which is traditionally called "ontology". One way, originated within the analytic tradition, consists of two main streams, namely philosophy of language and (contemporary) philosophy of mind, the former yielding "reduced ontology" and the latter "neo-Aristotelian ontology". The other way of conceiving ontology is exemplified by "phenomenological ontology" (more precisely, the Husserlian, not the Heideggerian version). Ontology as a theory of reference ("reduced" ontology, or ontology as depending on semantics) is presented and justified on the basis of some classical thesis of traditional philosophy of language (from Frege to Quine). "Reduced ontology" is shown to be identifiable with one level of a traditional, Aristotelian ontology, namely the one which corresponds to one of the four "senses of being" listed in Aristotle's Metaphysics: "being" as "being true". This identification is justified on the basis of Franz Brentano's "rules for translation" of the Aristotelian table of judgements in terms of (positive and negative) existential judgments such as are easily translatable into sentences of first order predicate logic. The second part of the paper is concerned with "neo-Aristotelian ontology", i.e. with naturalism and physicalism as the main ontological options underlying most of contemporary discussion in the philosophy of mind. The qualification of such options as "neo-Aristotelian" is justified; the relationships between "neo-Aristotelian ontology" and "reduced ontology" are discussed. In the third part the fundamental tenet of "phenomenological ontology" is identified by the thesis that a logical theory of existence and being does capture a sense of "existing" and "being" which, even though not the basic one, is grounded in the basic one. An attempt is done of further clarifying this "more basic" sense of "being". An argument making use of this supposedly "more basic" sense is advanced in favour of a "phenomenological ontology". -/- ● Kuno Lorenz, Analytic Roots in Dialogic Constructivism. -/- Both in the Vienna Circle ad in Russell's early philosophy the division of knowledge into two kinds (or two levels), perceptual and conceptual, plays a vital role. Constructivism in philosophy, in trying to provide a pragmatic foundation - a knowing-how - to perceptual as well as conceptual competences, discovered that this is dependent on semiotic tools. Therefore, the "principle of method" had to be amended by the "principle of dialogue". Analytic philosophy being an heir of classical empiricism, conceptually grasping the "given", and constructive philosophy being an heir of classical rationalism, perceptually providing the "constructed", merge into dialogical constructivism, a contemporary development of ideas derived especially from the works of Charles S. Peirce (his pragmatic maxim as a means of giving meaning to signs) and of Ludwig Wittgenstein (his language games as tools of comparison for understanding ways of life). -/- 7. Albrecht Wellmer, "Autonomy of meaning" and "principle of charity" from the viewpoint of the pragmatics of language. -/- In this essay I present an interpretation of the principle of the autonomy of meaning and of the principle of charity, the two main principles of Davidson's semantic view of truth, showing how both principles may fit in a perspective dictated by the pragmatics of language. I argue that (I) the principle of the autonomy of meaning may be thoroughly reformulated in terms of the pragmatics of language, (ii) the principle of charity needs a supplement in terms of pragmatics of language in order to become really enlightening as a principle of interpretation. Besides, I argue that: (i) on the one hand, the fundamental thesis of Habermas on the pragmatic theory of meaning ("we understand a speech act when we know what makes it admissible") is correlated with the seemingly intentionalist thesis according to which we understand a speech act when we know what a speaker means; (ii) on the other hand, to say that the meaning competence of a competent speaker is basically a competence about a potential of reasons (or also of possible justifications) which is inherently connected with the meaning of statements, or with their use in utterances. -/- ● Rüdiger Bubner, The convergence of analytic and hermeneutic philosophy -/- This paper argues that the analytic philosophy does not exist, at least as understood by its original programs. Differences in the analytic camp have always been bigger than they were believed to be. Now these differences are coming to the fore thanks to a process of dissolution of dogmatism. Philosophical analysis is led by its own inner logic towards questions that may be fairly qualified as hermeneutic. Recent developments in analytic philosophy, e.g. Davidson, seem to indicate a growing convergence of themes between philosophical analysis and hermeneutics; thus, the familiar opposition of Anglo-Saxon and Continental philosophy might soon belong to history. The fact of an ongoing appropriation of analytical techniques by present-day German philosophers may provide a basis for a powerful argument for the unity of philosophizing, beyond its strained images privileging one technique of thinking and rejecting the remainder. Actual philosophical practice should take the dialogue between the two camps more seriously; in fact, the processes described so far are no danger to philosophical work. They may be a danger for parochial approaches to philosophizing; indeed, contrary to what happens in the natural sciences, Thomas Kuhn's "normal science" developing within the framework of one fixed paradigm is not typical for philosophical thinking. And in philosophy innovating revolutions are symptoms more of vitality than of crisis. -/- ● Karl-Otto Apel, The impact of analytic philosophy on my intellectual biography. -/- In my paper I try to reconstruct the history of my Auseinandersetzung mit - as I called it - "language-analytical" philosophy (including even Peircean semiotics) since the late Fifties. The heuristics of my study was predetermined by two main motives of my beginnings: the hermeneutic turn of phenomenology and the transformation of "transcendental philosophy" in the light of the "language a priori". Thus, I took issue with the early and the later Wittgenstein, logical positivism, and post-Wittgensteinian and post-empiricist philosophy of science (i.e. G.H. von Wright and the renewal of the "explanation vs understanding controversy" as well as the debate between Th. Kuhn and Popper/Lakatos); besides, with speech act theory and the debate about "transcendental arguments" since Strawson. The "pragmatic turn", started already by C.L. Morris and the later Carnap, led me to study also the relationship between Wittgensteinian "use" theory of meaning and of truth. This resulted on my side in something like a program of "transcendental semiotics", i.e. "transcendental pragmatics" and "transcendental hermeneutics". -/- ● Ben-Ami Scharfstein, A doubt on both their houses: the blindness to non-western philosophies. The burden of my criticism is that contemporary European philosophers of all kinds have continued to think as if there were no true philosophy but that of the West. For the most part, the existentialists have been oblivious of their Eastern congeners; the hermeneuticians have yet to stretch their horizons beyond the most familiar ones; and the analysts remain unaware of the analyses and linguistic sensitivities of the ancient non-European philosophers. Briefly, ignorance still blinds almost all contemporary Western philosophers to the rich, variegated philosophical traditions outside of their familiar orbit. Both Continental and Anglo-Americans have lost the breadth of view that once characterized such thinkers as Herder and the Humboldts. The blindness that has resulted is not simply that of individual Western philosophers but of our whole, still parochial philosophical culture. (shrink)
In this paper we advance a new solution to Quinn’s puzzle of the self-torturer. The solution falls directly out of an application of the principle of instrumental reasoning to what we call “vague projects”, i.e., projects whose completion does not occur at any particular or definite point or moment. The resulting treatment of the puzzle extends our understanding of instrumental rationality to projects and ends that cannot be accommodated by orthodox theories of rational choice.
The editor's introduction discusses Clarence I. Lewis's conceptual pragmatism when compared with post-empiricist epistemology and argues that several Cartesian assumptions play a major role in the work, not unlike those of Logical Positivism. The suggestion is made that the Cartesian legacy still hidden in Logical Positivism turns out to be a rather heavy ballast for Lewis’s project of restructuring epistemology in a pragmatist key. More in detail, the sore point is the nature of inter-subjectivity. For Lewis, no less than for (...) the Logical Positivists at the time of the Protocols Controversy and Husserl in the Cartesian Meditations, this is a problem without a solution. The reason is that all these philosophers are apparently unable to realize that the existence of a plurality of knowing subjects cannot be treated at once both as a speculative problem and a methodological one. Lewis, thanks to his pragmatist approach both comes closer to the right answer and offers an even more naïve unsatisfactory solution to the pseudo-problem under discussion. The fact that he has clear in mind that inter-subjectivity means not only a plurality of linguistic utterances but also a co-existence of different kinds of practical behaviour. Eventually, the very idea of mind, the key-idea in the book, suffers from the above mentioned tension. In fact, if inter-subjective communication and action is considered at a methodological level, the very idea of mind would not need an analysis, and no kind of ‘reflexive’ analysis. Methodology might be limited to a ‘naïve’ level where the existence of the world and a plurality of subjects be taken as a bedrock of uncritically accepted evidence. Philosophical reflection on ultimate evidence, instead, would take a different approach, maybe the one Wittgenstein was putting into practice in the same years when Mind and the world order was written, namely it would be bound to question the very meaning of the idea of ‘mind’ as an undue fiction – the same carried out by Descartes – when he assumed the Cogito to be at once a body of self-evident truths and a thing or substance, the familiar Platonic idea of psyche or soul. (shrink)
Introduction. The book is a study in Adam Smith's system of ideas; its aim is to reconstruct the peculiar framework that Adam Smith’s work provided for the shaping of a semi-autonomous new discipline, political economy; the approach adopted lies somewhere in-between the history of ideas and the history of economic analysis. My two claims are: i) The Wealth of Nations has a twofold structure, including a `natural history' of opulence and an `imaginary machine' of wealth. The imaginary machine is a (...) kind of Newtonian theory, whose connecting links are principles; provided either by `partial' characteristics of human nature or by analoga of physical mechanisms transferred to the social world; ii) a domain of the economic, understood as a self-standing social sub-system, was discovered first by Adam Smith. His `discovery' of the new continent of the economic was an `unintended result' of a deviation in his voyage to the never-found archipelago of natural jurisprudence. -/- 1. Imaginary machines and invisible chains: natural philosophy and method. The first chapter reconstructs Smith's views on the method in natural philosophy, presented primarily in the History of Astronomy (HA). The peculiar kind of semi-sceptical Newtonianism which permeates the essay is highlighted. Its reconstruction of the history of one natural science is shown to be based on the assumptions of Hume’s epistemology, and to lead to a self-aware deadlock. Smith's dilemma is between an essentialist realism and sceptical instrumentalism; the Cartesian presuppositions he shares with Hume and with the 18th century as a whole make it impossible for him to overcome his dilemma. The following chapters will show how, on the one hand, Smith's skeptical methodology encourages him in the enterprise to `carve off' a new self-contained discipline and how, on the other hand, his epistemological dilemma is reflected in the inner tensions of his moral and political theory as well as in a number of basic oscillations concerning the status of the new discipline. -/- 2. Chessboards and clocks: moral philosophy and method. -/- The second chapter reconstructs Smith's views on the method in the parallel field of moral philosophy, including the theory of moral sentiments and natural jurisprudence. I argue that The Theory of Moral Sentiments, when considered together with with the Lectures on Jurisprudence, where Smith's peculiar version of a `weaker' form of natural law is presented, wins special interest, not only for the history of ethics but even more for the history of political theory and the social sciences. The two most striking features of Smith's work in this area are highlighted. First, his effort at reformulating the `practical science' is a methodologically self-aware attempt at applying the Newtonian method to moral subjects. Secondly, this attempt ends in a stalemate as two distinguished kinds of normative order are introduced: one ultimate order of Reason, ultimately justifiable but inaccessible, and one weaker order of our `natural sentiments', to which we have empirical access, but which is so variable as to lack any ultimate value as a basis for grounding our normative claims. These two parallel conundrums may arguably account for the author's inability to publish during his lifetime both The History of Astronomy and the projected history and theory of law and government. -/- 3. Wheels, dams, and gravitation: the structure of scientific argument in The Wealth of Nations. -/- The third chapter provides the core of the book, dealing with the structure of the argument in WN. I argue that the main presupposition that makes the shift possible from a `natural history' to a `system' approach is the Newtonian contrast of `mathematical' with `physical' explanation; that is, Smith drops any discussion of the "original qualities" of human nature that could account for economic behaviour, while introducing, as `principles' for the system, a set of `hypothetical' statements of `observed' regularities in human behaviour and of `observed' super-individual self-regulating mechanisms. In bringing this presupposition to light, the coexistence of a teleological with a mechanistic approach is clarified; fresh light is shed on the notion of the invisible hand by a comparison of its occurrence in Smith with the occurrence of the same expression (until now overlooked) in the correspondence between Newton and Cotes. Finally, the peculiar semi-prescriptive and semi-descriptive character of political economy are highlighted, and the consistency of Smith's `impure' semi-prescriptive social science, when understood in his own terms, is defended against familiar charges with inconsistency and against even more familiar strained modernizations. -/- 4. Apples, deer, and frivolous trinkets: the construction of the economic. -/- The fourth chapter draws consequences from the third, examining how Smith's achievement in political economy, marking its transition to scientific status, carried a re-description of the phenomena, creating the comparatively independent and unified field of the economic. Smith's achievement is interpreted not as the `discovery' of an autonomous character already possessed by the economy out there, so much as a Gestalt-switch by which our perception of social phenomena is modified making us `see' the partial order of the economy as an isolated system. To sum up, the autonomy of the economic in social reality and the autonomy of the economic in social consciousness are shown to be two sides of one process. -/- 5. Concluding considerations: Political economy and the Enlightenment halved. -/- A few suggestions on the status of economic theory two centuries after The Wealth of Nations in its relationship to ‘practical philosophy’ are illustrated. (shrink)
Historically, entities with a vested interest in a product that critics have suggested is harmful have consistently used research to back their claims that the product is safe. Prominent examples are: tobacco, lead, bisphenol A, and atrazine. Research literature indicates that about 80–90 % of studies with industry affiliation found no harm from the product, while only about 10–20 % of studies without industry affiliation found no harm. In parallel to other historical debates, recent studies examining a possible relationship between (...) mercury exposure and autism spectrum disorder show a similar dichotomy. Studies sponsored and supported by industry or entities with an apparent conflict of interest have most often shown no evidence of harm or no “consistent” evidence of harm, while studies without such affiliations report positive evidence of a Hg/autism association. The potentially causal relationship between Hg exposure and ASD differs from other toxic products since there is a broad coalition of entities for whom a conflict of interest arises. These include influential governmental public health entities, the pharmaceutical industry, and even the coal burning industry. This review includes a systematic literature search of original studies on the potential relationship between Hg and ASD from 1999 to date, finding that of the studies with public health and/or industry affiliation, 86 % reported no relationship between Hg and ASD. However, among studies without public health and/or industry affiliation, only 19 % find no relationship between Hg and ASD. The discrepancy in these results suggests a bias indicative of a conflict of interest. (shrink)
I clarify that Sidgwick was not a moral relativist; on the contrary he was heavily conditioned by ethnocentric prejudice: I add that Sidgwick did not believe a reform of common-sense morality to be viable; on the contrary he concluded that it was impossible and, besides, that there were important utilitarian reasons against the viability of any reform strategy.
I argue that Malthus’s Essay on Population is more a treatise in applied ethics than the first treatise in demography. I argue also that, as an ethical work, it is a highly innovative one. The substitution of procreation for sex as the focus makes for a drastic change in the agenda. what had been basically lacking in the discussion up to Malthus’s time was a consideration of human beings’ own responsibility in the decision of procreating. This makes for a remarkable (...) change also in the approach, namely, the discussion becomes an examination of a well-identified issue, taking cause-effect relationships into account in order to assess possible lines of conduct in the light of some, widely shared and comparatively minimal, value judgements. This is more or less the approach of what is now called applied ethics, at least according to one of its accounts, or perhaps to the account shared by a vast majority of its practitioners. In a sense, both the subject matter, sexuality, was substituted with a more restricted issue, namely reproduction, and the traditional approach, moral doctrine, was substituted with a more modest approach, in Malthus’s own words, the “moral and political science”. Such a drastic transformation brought about a viable framework, for a discussion of ethical issues that were still unforeseen by Malthus, namely those having to do first with the technical feasibility of eugenics programs and secondly with the scientific discovery of genetics as a field of study but also of possible intervention. Malthus’s ethics had obviously enough nothing to say on those unforeseen issues in so far as it was meant to treat just the ‘quantitative’ dimension of procreation, that is, ‘how many’. Later discussions and controversies will arise around different dimensions, that is, not just ‘how many’ but also ‘how healthy, how strong, hoe empowered’, but what Malthus’s lesson could have taught and still can teach to partners defending opposite views in these controversies is that such issues may be framed in a way that possibly avoids unending controversy on incompatible ultimate principles once the strategy is turned upside down and a principle of responsibility becomes the overriding rule in the treatment of such ethical issues. -/- . (shrink)
No presente trabalho discutiremos a tese segundo a qual provas com diagramas são heterogêneas, i. e., envolvem casos de raciocínio visual. Em uma primeira seção, examinaremos o uso informal de diagramas de Venn em provas conjuntistas, procurando determinar em que sentido provas com diagramas seriam heterogêneas. Tais provas su-postamente envolveriam raciocínio visual no sentido em que a validade das inferências dependeria de características visualizáveis dos diagramas e não de regras de derivação. Em uma segunda seção, investigaremos quais seriam os aspectos (...) relevantes para a validade das inferências diagramáticas. A seguir, na terceira seção, argumentaremos que a concepção de provas diagramáticas como envolvendo essencialmente um elemento visual apresenta sérios problemas. (shrink)
The paper describes how a simple idea, that of a new foundation of moral philosophy taking Galilean new natural philosophy as a mode , lead to unforeseen developments once the competition between a Cartesian and a Newtonian paradigm emerged. Those developments are reconstructed in Hume, Smith, Ferguson.
I intend to: a) clarify the origins and de facto meanings of the term relativism; b) reconstruct the reasons for the birth of the thesis named “cultural relativism”; d) reconstruct ethical implications of the above thesis; c) revisit the recent discussion between universalists and particularists in the light of the idea of cultural relativism.. -/- 1.Prescriptive Moral Relativism: “everybody is justified in acting in the way imposed by criteria accepted by the group he belongs to”. Universalism: there are at least (...) some judgments which are valid inter-culturally Absolutism: there are at least some particular prescriptions which are valid without exception everywhere and always -/- 2. The traditional proof of prescriptive moral relativism: the argument from variability: Judgments, rules, and shared values are de facto variable in time and space. The traditional counter-proof: examples of variability do not prove what skeptics contend. -/- 3. Pre-history of the doctrine -Ancient sophists: either immoralist or contractualist -Modern moral scepticism (xvii c.): variability as an historical and ethnographic fact supports a sceptical conclusion more moderate than sheer immoralism. - Voltaire, Kant, Reid counter-attack pointing at a universally shared moral sense - Romantics and idealists stage an even more moderate reformulation: instead of universally shared moral sense they point at the Spirit of a People which is: a)alternative to abstract and universal philosophical systems as far as it is lived ‘culture’; b) indivisible unity with an inner harmony and a source of normative standards; c) dynamic, in so far as it is a manifestation of the Spirit through the becoming of National cultures. -/- 4. The birth of Cultural Relativism and its ethical implications 4.1. The 18th c. doctrine was the noble savage (a non-historical doctrine: state of nature vs. social state) 4.2 Edward Tylor (1832-1817) and ethnocentric historicism Savage moral standards are real enough, but they are far and weaker than ours. 4.3 Boas and Malinowski and an holistic reaction to ethnocentric historicism -/- Franz Boas (1858-1942): a) Development of civilizations is not ruled by technical progress nor does it follow a one-way path; instead there are parallel developments (for ex. Agriculture does not follow stock-raising); b) racial characters have no relevance in development of civilization; c) we are not yet in a position to compare externally identical kinds of behaviour till we have not yet understood beliefs and intentions laying at their roots (for ex.: “From an ethnological point of view murder cannot be considered as a single phenomenon”; d) we should distinguish among different practices which are only superficially similar (fro ex. practices traditionally classified under the label “tabù”); e) there is as a fact just one normative ethic, constant in its contents but varying in its extension; f) the implication is not that we cannot judge behavior by members of other groups; it is only a recommendation of caution. -/- Bronislaw Malinowski (1884-1942): a) against Tylor’s and Frazer’s “magpie” methodology, field-work is required, a culture as a whole should be observed from inside; individual elements are incomprehensible; b) a culture is an organic whole; c) its elements are accounted for by their function (economy), avoiding non-observables (empio-criticism). -/- Ruth Benedict and Melville Herskovitz identify Boas’s approach with “cultural relativism”. Benedict: what is normal and abnormal is to be judged on a culture’s own standards, not on our own (“Anthropology and the Abnormal”). Herskovits: “Boas adumbrates what we have come to call cultural relativism” (The Mind, p. 10); “Judgements are based on experience, and experience is interpreted by each individual in terms of his own enculturation” (Man and his Works). -/- 4. How analytic philosophy understood and misunderstood the discussion 4.1. At the beginning of the 20th c., the new view in ethics was non-cognitivism (emotivist and subjectivist). Eric Westermark combines this view with an old-style ethnographic approach in support of relativity of moralities. Moralities are codes, or systems of emotive ‘disinterested’ reactions selected by evolution on their usefulness in terms of survival value for the society that is the carrier of such systems or codes. The moral relativity thesis: there are cases of disagreement that cannot be settled even after agreement about facts. 4.2 Anti-realists Brandt, Mackie, Gilbert, Harman adopt Westermark’s approach in a more sophisticated version: a) moralities are codes with an overall function and may be appraised only as wholes; b) variability is an argument for moral subjectivism; c) apparent legitimacy of deriving shift from ought is legitimized only within one institution d) morality should not be described but instead made, and existing moralities may be improved. Is it ‘real’ relativism? It is clearly subjectivism (a metaethical thesis). The normative thesis is that there better and worse codes, and survival values is the normative standard. -/- 4.3 Particularists MacIntyre, Sandel, Taylor, Wiggins, McDowell ‘Wittgensteinian’ prospectivist arguments bent to support weak-relativist claims MacIntyre: there is ‘incommensurability’ between different theoretical systems in both science and ethics. No argument is possible through different systems Different traditions may coexist for a long time without being able to bring their conflicts to a rational solution. -/- 4.4 Kantian universalists Baier, Gewirth, Rawls, Apel, Habermas Shared claim: justice concerns the right and is universal in so far as it may be based on minimal assumptions Other virtues are relative to context in so far as they are related to comprehensive views of the good - O’Neill criticism: a) it is an assumption shared by both alignments; b) after an alleged crisis brought about by alleged loss of metaphysical certainties, theories of justice have dropped demanding assumptions and kept universalism, virtue theories have kept demanding assumptions and dropped universalism; c) the opposition of virtue and justice has arisen in an unjustified way. O’Neill’s positive proposal: ‘constructive’ procedures may be adopted both (i) concerning all the range of virtues and (ii) across cultures once we abandon idealization and confine ourselves to abstraction from real-world cases. -/- 4.5 A metaethical relativist and anti-relativist normative ethicists: Bernard Williams Williams: vulgar relativism may be assumed to claim that: a) 'just' means 'just in a given society'; b) 'just in a given society' is to be understood in functionalist sense; c) it is wrong for one society’s members to condemn another society’s values. It is inconsistent since in (c) uses ‘just’ in a non-relative way that has been excluded in (a). William’s positive proposal: i) keep a number of substantive or thick ethical concepts that will be different in space and time; ii) admit that public choices are to be legitimized through recourse to more abstract procedures and relying on more thin ethical concepts. -/- 5. Critical remarks 5.1 The only real relativism available is ‘vulgar’ relativism (Westermark?) 5.2. Descriptive universalism (or absolutism) has a long pedigree, from Cicero on, reaching Boas himself but it is useless as an answer to normative questions 5.3. Twentieth-century philosophical discussion seems to discuss an ad hoc doctrine reconstructed by assembling obsolete philosophical ideas but ignoring the real theory of cultural relativism as formulated by anthropologists. -/- 6. A distinction between ethoi and ethical theories as a way out of confusions a)There are systems of conventions de facto existing. These may be studies from outside as phenomena or facts. b)There is moral argument and this, when studies from outside, is a fact, but this does not influence in any degree the possible validity of claims advanced. c) the difference between the above claims and Mackie’s criticism to Searle’s argument of the promising game is that promises, arguments etc. are also phenomena, but they are also communicative phenomena with a logical and pragmatic structure. -/- 7.Conclusions: a) cultural relativism, as a name for Boas’s methodology is a valuable discovery, and in this sense we are all relativists; b) ethical relativism, as an alleged implication of cultural relativism, has been argued in a philosophically quite unsophisticated way by Benedict and Herskovits; philosophers apparently discussed ethical relativism in the basis of a rather faint impression of what cultural relativism had been. c) a full-fledged ethical relativism has hardly been defended by anybody among philosophers; virtually no modern philosopher really argued a prescriptive version of the thesis; d) we may accept the grain of truth in ethical relativism by including relativist critique to ethical absolutism into a universalist normative doctrine that be careful in separating open-textured formulations of universal claims from culturally conditioned particular prescriptions. -/- . 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This essay aims to demonstrate that the concepts of conflict and prophecy play a key role in the thought of Mario Tronti and Sergio Quinzio – even though they are interpreted in a different way. Tronti describes them as “extreme think- ing and careful acting”, remaining “within and against” the mainstream sociopolitical system. Quinzio, instead, interprets conflict and prophecy as spes contra spem, “hoping against hope” ; hence, he observes the present lucidly, remaining tenaciously faithful to the promise of (...) the Second Coming of Christ. Tronti, rethinking some fundamental aspects of the Quinzio’s reflections, connects clearly the Marxian conception of the world, on the one hand, with the theological-political one, and, on the other hand, with the messianic one; in this way, it reveals itself as a resource of meaning, from which even today we can draw. (shrink)
As published, the authorship for this article is incorrect. Coauthor Hilda Helena Soares Bentes was omitted due to an editorial error. The correct citation is: Bentes, Hilda and Salles, Sergio. Paul Ricoeur e o humanismo jurídico moderno: O reconhecimento do sujeito de direito. Études Ricoeuriennes / Ricoeur Studies vol. 2, no. 2 : 106–117. The online version reflects these changes.
I argue that the difference between the 17th century new moral science and Scholastic Natural Law Theory derived primarily from the skeptical challenge the former had to face. Pufendorf's project of a 'scientia practica universalis' was the paramount expression of an anti-skeptical moral science, a «science» both explanatory and normative, but also anti-dogmatic in so far as it tried to base its laws on those basic phenomena of human life that supposedly were outside the scope of skeptical doubt. Of the (...) Scholastic legacy to the new moral science, a dichotomy between an «intellettualistic» and a «voluntaristic» view of natural law (or between lex immanens and lex imposita). Voluntarism lays at the root both of theological views such as those of Calvinism and of political views such as those of Hobbes and Locke. A need to counterbalance undesirable implications of estreme voluntarism may account for much of 17th and 18th centuries developments in ethics and politics. Scottish natural jurisprudence, an expression of such quest for a third way between scepticism and extreme voluntarism, is less secular and more empirical than received wisdom admits of. One of its side-effects, namely a systematic, self-contained, and empirical economic theory, results from the search for a normative theory of social life on an empirical basis. The main tool for building such a theory, namely a view of societal laws as embedded in trans-individual mechanisms, derives from the voluntarist view of natural law as «imposed» law. Subsequent discussions of social issues based on the opposition of economic and ethical reasons originated partly from gross misreading of the Scottish natural jurisprudential framework for economic theory. (shrink)
Unresponsive wakefulness syndrome (UWS, previously known as vegetative state) occurs after patients survive a severe brain injury. Patients suffering from UWS have lost awareness of themselves and of the external environment and do not retain any trace of their subjective experience. Current data demonstrate that neuronal functions subtending consciousness are not completely reset in UWS; however, they are reduced below the threshold required to experience consciousness. The critical factor that determines whether patients will recover consciousness is the distance of their (...) neuronal functions from this threshold level. Recovery of consciousness occurs through functional and/or structural changes in the brain, i.e., through neuronal plasticity. Although some of these changes may occur spontaneously, a growing body of evidence indicates that rehabilitative interventions can improve functional outcome by promoting adaptive functional and structural plasticity in the brain, especially if a comprehensive neurophysiological theory of consciousness is followed. In this review we will focus on the pathophysiological mechanisms involved in UWS and on the plastic changes operating on the recovery of consciousness. (shrink)
Ecological developmental biology considers the phenotype as actively produced through an environmentally informed process of individual development, rather than predetermined by the genotype. Accordingly, the genotype is viewed as one among many interactants that contribute formative elements; it is understood to do so no differently from the way other organism-internal and environmental resources do. Although the EcoDevo approach is evidently particularly apt to inform approaches to human development, which mostly takes shape in rich cultural environments, it is remarkable that, at (...) least within some highly influential circles of the linguistic sciences, the study of many distinctive human cognitive traits including language remains strongly anchored to a preformationist stance. This article brings an EcoDevo approach to the biologically focused study of language to argue that an aspect of language design commonly assumed to be “blueprinted,” namely, the lexicon-syntax interface, may instead be explained as a plastic effect of ongoing developmental processes in the mind of the child, in which designated aspects of the environment fulfill a key constructive role. (shrink)