Although ostensibly defending speculative philosophy, Reck is doubtful that any unprejudiced speculative philosophy can exist: "No matter how much a philosopher may strive for neutrality, his test for the true philosophy is always predicated on the assumptions that his conception of being presents being as it is and that the conceptions of being his rivals uphold are partial or false." In the pursuit of neutrality, Reck attempts a mere chronicle of the distinctive conceptions of being which he feels have animated (...) the various metaphysical traditions: "Realism holds that whatever is in any sense is real; idealism that mind and its content alone are real; materialism that matter and its patterns alone are real; and process philosophy that process and the factors in process are real." The historical development of each of the four types is presented in masterly fashion. This book truly stands head and shoulders over its nearest rival in the Metaphilosophical literature for the depth of historical comprehension, the brilliant but controlled use made of a wealth of scholarship. A graduate student reviewing for comprehensive exams could do worse than to use Reck’s book. Those systems motivated at least in part by the drive-to-synthesis are disqualified a priori of being viable alternatives, motivated by distinctive intuitions. Realism, further, is found to have an inherent difficulty: "The task for the realist is to explain how the different levels or kinds of being can be related in a hierarchically ordered cosmos. The task is nothing short of explicating the bond of being." When Leibniz tries to relate finite particulars through a "Supreme Monad," he is faulted for "veering dangerously" close to Monism. Sympathetic toward Realism, Reck suggests a modification of Leibniz’s theory: not a rendering of the relations between man and God less mechanical, but a reduction of the "first Monad" from being supreme to a finite particular, struggling, like us, to overcome the hindrances posed by his environment. Reck concedes that the cognitive use of speculative philosophy, even when it redefines its project as Metaphilosophy, may be "futile"; however, he underscores the aesthetic value of the various systems, as Santayana would, when we can "bracket" the question of existence or truth and simply contemplate these cultural masterpieces as pure "essences." "Happy are those students who can suspend their critical search for truth sufficiently to savor the aesthetic values the systems of philosophy contain!" Reck refrains from judging between rival theories because such a judgment is always delivered from a view of what one takes to exist; and the impulse to go beyond "essence" to "existence" is, as Santayana teaches, prompted by fear, pain, instinct, or necessity. Rather than being a disinterested wonder at what "is," this passion is an "irrational agency of animal faith." "Needless to add," writes Reck, "animal faith is no more trustworthy than God’s existence to guarantee the truth of knowledge." This view can raise problems for Reck’s "finite" god. The finite god he prefers is perhaps "strong" enough to provide enough interconnection between existing particulars to justify a "Metaphilosophical" science, if not a properly "Philosophical" one, in the traditional sense; Reck could point to his own successful Metaphilosophy as evidence that his "god" is at least this strong. But isn't even this finite god an existential belief which, as the basis for a criticism, compromises one’s neutrality and thus constitutes a flaw in one’s Metaphilosophical theory? Is it possible that a totally adequate Metaphilosophical theory, on Reck’s canons, could not save enough interconnection between particulars to justify even a Metaphilosophy, as well as a Philosophy?—P. M. (shrink)
I present here a modal extension of T called KTLM which is, by several measures, the simplest modal extension of T yet presented. Its axiom uses only one sentence letter and has a modal depth of 2. Furthermore, KTLM can be realized as the logical union of two logics KM and KTL which each have the finite model property (f.m.p.), and so themselves are complete. Each of these two component logics has independent interest as well.
Suppose that a world in which we have an utterly non-consequentialist moral status is a better world than one in which we don’t have such a status. Does this give any reason to believe that we have such moral status? Suppose that a world without moral luck is worse than a world with moral luck. Does this give any reason to believe that there is moral luck? The problem is that positive answers to these questions1 seem to commit us to (...) instances of the inference ‘Wouldn’t it be nice if p, therefore, p’. Perhaps it would be nice if we had utterly nonconsequentialist dignity. How is this any reason to believe that we have such status? Perhaps it would be nice if there were moral luck. How is this any reason to believe that there is moral luck? Thus stated, such inferences look ridiculous, paradigmatic cases of wishful thinking.2 And yet they do not sound so obviously ridiculous, at least not as ridiculous as non-moral instances of the same argument schema3 (it would be nice if there were world peace, therefore, there is world peace). Can something be said in defence of such arguments, at least in morality? (shrink)
There is a surprising amount of philosophy underlying the way we choose to measure poverty, including in the matter of the seemingly uncomplicated task of specifying an income poverty line. The present essay examines some of these issues of fact, value, and reasoning as they apply to the enterprise of assessing magnitudes of, and trends in, global money-metric poverty.
L'article aborde la question de la fonction cognitive de la fiction. Le dernier terme englobe le langage métaphorique vif aussi bien que ce que l'on appelle . La question considérée implique une théorie générale du discours, présentant celui-ci comme dialectique de l'événement et du sens. La métaphore, en tant qu'innovation sémantique, renvoie a la médiation d'un travail inventif de l'imagination. Le probleme qui s'ensuit concerne la référence des énoncés métaphoriques. Le récit, avec sa composition interne, introduit le theme du temps. (...) C'est en lien avec l'expérience temporelle de l'action humaine que le récit de fiction s'entrecroise avec l'historiographie. La notion meme de fiction en sort transformée par l'intermédiaire de l'activité heuristique de l'imagination. (shrink)