The strict-tolerant approach to paradox promises to erect theories of naïve truth and tolerant vagueness on the firm bedrock of classical logic. We assess the extent to which this claim is founded. Building on some results by Girard we show that the usual proof-theoretic formulation of propositional ST in terms of the classical sequent calculus without primitive Cut is incomplete with respect to ST-valid metainferences, and exhibit a complete calculus for the same class of metainferences. We also argue that the (...) latter calculus, far from coinciding with classical logic, is a close kin of Priest’s LP. (shrink)
One resolution of the St. Petersburg paradox recognizes that a gamble carries a risk sensitive to the gamble's stakes. If aversion to risk increases sufficiently fast as stakes go up, the St. Petersburg gamble has a finite utility.
Written and set on the banks of the Neva, St Petersburg Dialogues is a startlingly relevant analysis of the human prospect at the end of the twentieth century. As the literary critic George Steiner has remarked, "the age of the Gulag and of Auschwitz, of famine and ubiquitous torture,... nuclear threat, the ecological laying waste of our planet, the leap of endemic, possibly pandemic, illness out of the very matrix of libertarian progress" is exactly what Maistre foretold. In the Dialogues (...) Maistre addressed a number of topics which are discussed briefly or not at all in his other works already available in English. These include an apologetic for traditional Christian beliefs about providence, reflections on the social role of the public executioner and the "divinity" of war, a critique of John Locke's sensationalist psychology, meditations on prayer and sacrifice, and a mini-course on "illuminism." The literary form is that of the "philosophical conversation" -- one that allowed Maistre to be deliberately provocative and to indulge his taste for paradox, a "methodical extravagance" that he judged particularly appropriate for the eighteenth-century salon. Translator and editor Richard Lebrun provides a full scholarly edition of this classic work, complete with an introduction, chronology, critical bibliography, and generous explanatory notes. The Dialogues will be of interest to scholars of literary history as well as the history of ideas. (shrink)
Since St. Thomas Aquinas holds that death is a substantial change, a popular current interpretation of his anthropology must be mistaken. According to that interpretation – the ‘survivalist’ view – St. Thomas holds that we human beings survive our deaths, constituted solely by our souls in the interim between death and resurrection. This paper argues that St. Thomas must have held the ‘corruptionist’ view: the view that human beings cease to exist at their deaths. Certain objections to the corruptionist view (...) are also met. (shrink)
This paper will attempt an investigation of hypothetical intelligent extraterrestrial life from the perspective of the philosophy and theology of St. Thomas Aquinas. Section I will feature an overview of St. Thomas's relevant philosophy of human nature and the differences between human and extraterrestrial natures. Section II will, with special attention to St. Thomas's De malo, treat some possibilities regarding the need for salvation in our hypothetical species. Section III will outline relevant aspects of Thomistic soteriology, especially the reasons behind (...) the Incarnation and the role of human nature in Redemption. Section IV will feature a critique of representatives from the two major schools of scholarly thought on this issue, showing that they either disregard the necessity of a human nature for incorporation into the Mystical Body of Christ or deny the magnitude and singular importance of the Incarnation. Section V will sketch some possibilities for the soteriology of extraterrestrial life using the theology of St. Thomas Aquinas as a framework. (shrink)
Throughout his works, St. Augustine offers at least nine distinct views on the nature of time, at least three of which have remained almost unnoticed in the secondary literature. I first examine each these nine descriptions of time and attempt to diffuse common misinterpretations, especially of the views which seek to identify Augustinian time as consisting of an un-extended point or a distentio animi . Second, I argue that Augustine's primary understanding of time, like that of later medieval scholastics, is (...) that of an accident connected to the changes of created substances. Finally, I show how this interpretation has the benefit of rendering intelligible Augustine's contention that, at the resurrection, motion will still be able to occur, but not time. (shrink)
In his epistles, St. Paul sounded a universalism that has recently been taken up by secular philosophers who do not share his belief in Christ, but who regard his project as centrally important for contemporary political life. The Pauline project—as they see it—is the universality of truth, the conviction that what is true is true for everyone, and that the truth should be known by everyone. In this volume, eminent New Testament scholars, historians, and philosophers debate whether Paul's promise can (...) be fulfilled. Is the proper work of reading Paul to reconstruct what he said to his audiences? Is it crucial to retrieve the sense of history from the text? What are the philosophical undercurrents of Paul's message? This scholarly dialogue ushers in a new generation of Pauline studies. (shrink)
This paper reviews Deleuze’s theory of language in Logic of Sense, and Deleuze and Guattari’s theory of language in A Thousand Plateaus. In the ontology informed by the Stoics described in those books, human being and language do not exist separately but in a mixture of words and things. The author argues that this flattened ontology of surfaces is incommensurable with the ontology of depth used in conventional humanist qualitative methodology and recommends beginning new empirical inquiry with a concept instead (...) of with method and methodology. (shrink)
The realism grounding St. Thomas Aquinas’s pre-modern natural science defends the reception of similitudes of the forms of things known by abstraction. Modern natural science challenges this abstractio- nist account by recasting «form» in the leading role of principle of intelligibility—instead of forms, modern science discovers laws. Thomistic realism is prima facie incompatible with this account. Following Charles De Koninck, this essay outlines a rapprochement between the epistemology of pre-modern, Thomistic natural science and its modern successor. I argue that natural (...) forms are noetic limits towards which physical laws tend, and our grasp of this tendency uses a mode of knowledge comparable to what St. Thomas termed universal in repraesentando. (shrink)
I reason: (1) For any x, if I knew that A contained x, then the odds are even that B contains either 2x or x/2, so the expected amount in B would be 5x/4. So (2) for all x, if I knew that A contained x, I would have an expected gain in switching to B. So (3) I should switch to B. But this seems clearly wrong, as my information about A and B is symmetrical.
In spite of its infinite expectation value, the St. Petersburg game is not only a gamble without supply in the real world, but also one without demand at apparently very reasonable asking prices. We offer a rationalizing explanation of why the St. Petersburg bargain is unattractive on both sides (to both house and player) in the mid-range of prices (finite but upwards of about $4). Our analysis – featuring (1) the already-established fact that the average of finite ensembles of the (...) St. Petersburg game grows with ensemble size but is unbounded, and (2) our own simulation data showing that the debt-to-entry fee ratio rises exponentially – explains why both house and player are quite rational in abstaining from the St. Petersburg game. The house will be unavoidably (and intentionally) exposed to very large ensembles (with very high averages, and so very costly to them), while contrariwise even the well-heeled player is not sufficiently capitalized (as our simulation data reveals) to be able to capture the potential gains from large-ensemble play. (Smaller ensembles, meanwhile, enjoy low means, as others have shown, and so are not worth paying more than $4 to play, even if a merchant were to offer them at such low prices per trial.) Both sides are consequently rational in abstaining from entry into the St. Petersburg market in the mid-range of asking prices. We utilize the concept of capitalization vis-à-vis a gamble to make this case. Classical analyses of this question have paid insufficient attention to the question of the propriety of using expected values to assess the St. Petersburg gamble. And extant analyses have not noted the average-maximum-debt-before-breaking-even figures, and so are incomplete. (shrink)
St. Vincent de Paul (1581–1660) is well known for his contribution to charitable and social works. Even though he left no detailed examination of his business practices, by examining his life and his commitment to the poor, it is possible to frame a Vincentian theology of business ethics. Such an understanding would include educating students in the social teaching of the Catholic Church, a preferential option for the poor, good organization, sound business theory, economizing, and a foundation in the liberal (...) arts. (shrink)
It has been argued that St. Thomas Aquinas’s anthropological views fall prey to the problem of “Too Many Thinkers.” The worry, roughly, is that his views entail that I—a human person—am able to think, but that my soul—which is not a human person—is also able to think. Hence, too many thinkers: there are too many ofus having my thoughts. In this paper, I show why this is not a problem for St. Thomas. Along the way, I also address Peter Unger’s (...) argument for substance dualism. (shrink)
An ethnographic case study of five rural farmwomen in Cedar County, Nebraska, was conducted to contribute to the understudied area of rural entrepreneurship and women entrepreneurs. This naturalistic inquiry into the lived experiences of five women provides an exceptional view of the founding of a new microenterprise, the St. James Marketplace, a farmer-to-customer market in an agricultural setting. The study considered factors identified from previous research on entrepreneurship in both urban and rural settings. It connected the formation of this microenterprise (...) to the history, culture, values, and economic situation that motivated the founders’ entrepreneurial behavior. A social embeddedness perspective was employed in the analysis. Negative forces from the macroenvironment, such as the closing of the local church parish and declining economic conditions for farming, influenced the creation of the venture. However, the most important motivation was to sustain community. This study satisfies a need for in-depth inquiry into rural entrepreneurship, rural communities, and rural farmwomen entrepreneurs. (shrink)
By combining some technical results from metamathematicalinvestigations of systems of Bounded Arithmetic, I will givean argument for the untenability of Nelson 's finitistic program,encapsulated in his book Predicative Arithmetic.
BETWEEN St. Augustine and Plato, as between St. Thomas and Aristotle, there are significant analogies. If Whitehead exaggerated only pardonably little in describing Western philosophy as a series of footnotes to Plato, one could point to a similar relationship between Christian thought and Augustine. Plato and Augustine were fertile in inspiration, Aristotle and Aquinas were systematizers on the grandest scale. Augustine is often styled the Christian Plato; this is true in part because he was a Platonist, but perhaps even more (...) because both men were great artists, who have scarcely had rivals in the whole of Western philosophical history. Even in their manner of artistry they agree, for both were censorious of art, and indeed for analogous reasons; yet each manifested in his writings an artistry that somehow achieved the goal for the attainment of which he disputed with art itself. The difficulty of disengaging from the thought of Plato, or of Augustine, a series of views, a synthesis of arguments, a statement of acquired conclusions, is notorious; the expositor who, like myself, undertakes to explain the Augustinian view of time cannot hope simply by excerpting a series of propositions from the living dialectic of the Confessions to present them as a remainderless rendering of the original, any more than one can translate poetry into prose and expect to retain its meaning, without remainder. If the attempt is made, there remains, despite all disclaimers and warnings, an ineluctable element of betrayal. I offer what I do, neither in the guise of an accurate summary of Augustine's views on time, nor as a rebuttal of other interpretations of Augustine's mind, but simply as an incitement to the reading of the Confessions, and as a provocation or stimulus to philosophical mimesis. (shrink)
This paper suggests that lessons from the field of environmental ethics and sociological perspectives on knowledge are important tools for rethinking what type of ethical analysis is needed for building up further the field of development ethics and, more generally, for addressing some of the most fundamental ethical problems related to global poverty and development. The paper argues for a methodologically pragmatist approach to development ethics that focuses on the interplay between facts, values, concepts and practices. It views development ethics (...) as a hybrid between a public moral?political philosophy and a public conception of social science. Ethical analyses of poverty and development must lead to fundamental changes in the ways knowledge is produced and justified and must challenge the dominance of global institutions and orthodox economics as the single sources of expert knowledge for development. Two of the main tasks of ethical analysis is to provide tools for the formulation of alternative knowledge for development centred on the equal moral worth of all human beings, and to influence global policy making as well as multilateral institutions' goals and policies. The last section of the paper argues that Amartya Sen's version of the Capability Approach is already methodologically pragmatist and points to some convergence between Sen's work and John Dewey's. Further sociological and methodologically pragmatist analysis of the approach is needed to assess the ways in which it is influencing debates on human development and leading to policy changes, and the possible distortions it suffers when adopted by multilateral agencies and policy makers. An earlier version of this paper was presented at the international conference on Ethics and Development at Michigan State University, East Landing (USA) 8?15 April 2005. The section on methodological pragmatism draws from an unpublished paper written with Andrew Light called ?A Pragmatist Methodology for Development Ethics,? presented at the American Philosophical Association (APA) meeting in New York, December 1999. I have updated, transformed and used some parts and insights developed with Light in a way he may not recognize. (shrink)
Abstract This study of students? perceptions of the moral atmosphere in secondary schools was mainly inspired by the Just Community theory of Power, Higgins and Kohlberg (1989). The concepts they used in their intervention studies of schools developing into a Just Community were operationalised through a paper?and?pencil instrument for the measurement of students? perception of the moral atmosphere in school. To assess the reliability, validity and the power of the instrument a study was carried out in which 1553 students from (...) 32 Dutch secondary schools participated. The schools were selected from among four types of schools varying in educational level: (1) junior vocational secondary education, (2) intermediate secondary education, (3) university preparatory and higher secondary education and (4) schools that were a mixture of intermediate secondary education, and university preparatory and higher secondary education. Analysis of variance revealed significant differences between schools and school types. Analyses of covariance with students? moral competence (assessed with the SROM?sf) as a covariate and moral atmosphere as dependent variable, showed that the effect of school, for all the schools taken together and for each school type, remained significant. The practical significance of these results is addressed. (shrink)
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