Plato's Sophist provides a careful translation of the Sophist, one of Plato's most complex and difficult dialogues, and includes materials designed to facilitate its usefulness as a text in college courses. The translation employs a minimum of interpretative paraphrasing while being presented in clear, readable English. Special attention has been given to consistency in translating key Greek terms. The book presents a special list of these terms and discusses them in the endnotes. The result is a translation that enables the (...) reader who lacks a knowledge of Greek to get much closer than usual to the original text. Cobb's introduction contains a detailed summary of the entire dialogue, clarifying the main themes and the general structure. He offers a fresh interpretation of the dialogue that shows how each theme contributes to the exploration of the nature of, and the relation between, philosophy and sophistry. The introduction is particularly useful to first readers of the Sophist. (shrink)
In this paper, we consider three arguments for the irrelevance of the doctrine of double effect in end-of-life decision making. The third argument is our own and, to that extent, we seek to defend it. The first argument is that end-of-life decisions do not in fact shorten lives and that therefore there is no need for the doctrine in justification of these decisions. We reject this argument; some end-of-life decisions clearly shorten lives. The second is that the doctrine of double (...) effect is not recognized in UK law ; therefore, clinicians cannot use it as the basis for justification of their decisions. Against this we suggest that while the doctrine might have dubious legal grounds, it could be of relevance in some ways, e.g. in marking the boundary between acceptable and unacceptable practice in relation to the clinician's duty to relieve pain and suffering. The third is that the doctrine is irrelevant because it requires there to be a bad effect that needs justification. This is not the case in end-of-life care for patients diagnosed as dying. Here, bringing about a satisfactory dying process for a patient is a good effect, not a bad one. What matters is that patients die without pain and suffering. This marks a crucial departure from the double-effect doctrine; if the patient's death is not a bad effect then the doctrine is clearly irrelevant. A diagnosis of dying allows clinicians to focus on good dying and not to worry about whether their intervention affects the time of death. For a patient diagnosed as dying, time of death is rarely important. In our conclusion we suggest that acceptance of our argument might be problematic for opponents of physician-assisted death. We suggest one way in which these opponents might argue for a distinction between such practice and palliative care; this relies on the double-effect doctrine's distinction between foresight and intention. (shrink)
William Whewell raised a series of objections concerning John Stuart Mill’s philosophy of science which suggested that Mill’s views were not properly informed by the history of science or by adequate reflection on scientific practices. The aim of this paper is to revisit and evaluate this incisive Whewellian criticism of Mill’s views by assessing Mill’s account of Michael Faraday’s discovery of electrical induction. The historical evidence demonstrates that Mill’s reconstruction is an inadequate reconstruction of this historical episode and the scientific (...) practices Faraday employed. But a study of Faraday’s research also raises some questions about Whewell’s characterization of this discovery. Thus, this example provides an opportunity to reconsider the debate between Whewell and Mill concerning the role of the sciences in the development of an adequate philosophy of scientific methodology.Keywords: Inductivism; Experiment; Theory; Methodology; Electromagnetism. (shrink)
While epistemic justification is a central concern for both contemporary epistemology and philosophy of science, debates in contemporary epistemology about the nature of epistemic justification have not been discussed extensively by philosophers of science. As a step toward a coherent account of scientific justification that is informed by, and sheds light on, justificatory practices in the sciences, this paper examines one of these debates—the internalist-externalist debate—from the perspective of objective accounts of scientific evidence. In particular, we focus on Deborah Mayo’s (...) error-statistical theory of evidence because it is a paradigmatically objective theory of evidence that is strongly informed by methodological practice. We contend that from the standpoint of such an objective theory of evidence, justification in science has both externalist and internalist characteristics. In reaching this conclusion, however, we find that the terms of the contemporary debate between internalists and externalists have to be redefined to be applicable to scientific contexts. (shrink)
This article explores Michael Faraday’s “Historical Sketch of Electro‐Magnetism” as a fruitful source for understanding the epistemic significance of experimentation. In this work Faraday provides a catalog of the numerous experimental and theoretical developments in the early history of electromagnetism. He also describes methods that enable experimentalists to dissociate experimental results from the theoretical commitments generating their research. An analysis of the methods articulated in this sketch is instructive for confronting epistemological worries about the theory‐dependence of experimentation. †To contact the (...) author, please write to: 10289 Saint Katherine Lane, Saint Ann, MO 63074; e‐mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. (shrink)
Thomas Reid thinks of natural philosophy as a purely nomothetic enterprise but he maintains that it is proper for natural philosophers to employ causal terminology in formulating their explanatory claims. In this paper, I analyze this puzzle in light of Reid's distinction between efficient and physical causation – a distinction he grounds in his strict understanding of active powers. I consider several possible reasons that Reid may have for maintaining that natural philosophers ought to employ causal terminology and suggest that (...) the underlying rationale for his views is his understanding of the aims of explanation and their connection to the interests of human agents. The ultimate aim of knowing the causes of phenomena is to mollify the natural intellectual curiosity of human inquirers and provide guidance that insures successful action. The discovery of laws governing phenomena fulfills this aim and, as such, it is appropriate for natural philosophers to employ causal terminology. (shrink)
This is an analysis of the argument of the "euthyphro" that takes the dialogue form seriously. i contend that plato does "not" present socrates as defending a view incompatible with his claim in the "protagoras" that the religious ("pious") and the just are the same. the suggestion that the religious is only part of the just must be attributed to "euthyphro". i also argue that socrates does not reject the definition of the religious as what the gods love.
Pols' critique of whitehead's account of freedom in "whitehead's metaphysics" focuses the problem sharply. freedom requires radically reflexive self-determination of an event by itself. this is intelligible only on an atomic view of time such as whitehead's. genetic succession within occasions is non-temporal and must not be so construed that their character is jeopardized.
Problem: Ernst von Glasersfeld’s radical constructivism has been highly influential in the fields of mathematics and science education. However, its relevance is typically limited to analyses of classroom interactions and students’ reasoning. Methods: A project that aims to support improvements in the quality of mathematics instruction across four large urban districts is framed as a case with which to illustrate the far-reaching consequences of von Glasersfeld’s constructivism for mathematics and science educators. Results: Von Glasersfeld’s constructivism orients us to question the (...) standard view of policy implementation as a process of travel down through a system and to conceptualize it instead as the situated reorganization of practice at multiple levels of a system. In addition, von Glasersfeld’s constructivism orients us to understand rather than merely evaluate policies by viewing the actions of the targets of policies as reasonable from their point of view. Implications: The potential contributions of von Glasersfeld’s constructivism to mathematics and science education have been significantly underestimated by restricting the focus to classroom actions and interactions. The illustrative case of research on the application of these ideas also indicates the relevance of constructivism to researchers in educational policy and educational leadership. (shrink)
Herbert Marcuse: A Critical Reader is a collection of brand new papers by seventeen Marcuse scholars, which provides a comprehensive reassessment of the relevance of Marcuse's critical theory at the beginning of the 21st century. Although best known for his reputation in critical theory, Herbert Marcuse's work has had impact on areas as diverse as politics, technology, aesthetics, psychoanalysis and ecology. This collection addresses the contemporary relevance of Marcuse's work in this broad variety of fields and from an international perspective.