In a problematic relationship with the noted continuity between Port-Royal’s Grammar and Francisco Sánchez’s Minerva, and with both regarding the recent developments in Linguistics, this essay tries to go into detail about the differences between these approaches, and specially about the relations between grammar and thought in Sánchez and Port Royal’s works.
A number of recent writers have expressed scepticism about the viability of a specifically moral concept of obligation, and some of the considerations offered have been interesting and persuasive. This is a scepticism that has its roots in Nietzsche, even if he is mentioned only rather rarely in the debate. More proximately, the scepticism in question receives seminal expression in Elizabeth Anscombe's 1958 essay, ‘Modern Moral Philosophy’, a piece that is often paid lip-service to, but—like Nietzsche's work—has only rarely been (...) taken seriously by those wishing to defend the conception of obligation under attack. This is regrettable. Anscombe's essay is powerful and direct, and it makes a forthright case for the claim that, in the absence of a divine law conception of ethics, any specifically moral concept of obligation must be redundant, and that the best that can be hoped for in a secular age is some sort of neo-Aristotelianism. Anscombe is right about this, we think. And, among those who disagree, one of the very few to have taken her on at all explicitly is Christine Korsgaard, whose Kantianism of course commits her to the view that the concept of moral obligation is central, with or without God. Here, we try to show that Korsgaard loses the argument. (shrink)
Understanding human beings and their distinctive rational and volitional capacities requires a clear account of such things as reasons, desires, emotions, and motives, and how they combine to produce and explain human behaviour. Maria Alvarez presents a fresh and incisive study of these concepts, centred on reasons and their role in human agency.
Álvarez J.F. (2016) Conflicts, Bounded Rationality and Collective Wisdom in a Networked Society. In: Scarafile G., Gruenpeter Gold L. (eds) Paradoxes of Conflicts. Logic, Argumentation & Reasoning (Interdisciplinary Perspectives from the Humanities and Social Sciences), vol 12. Springer, Cham -/- The adoption of an individualistic perspective on reasoning, choice and decision is a spring of paradoxes of conflicts. Usually the agents immerse in conflicts are drawn or modelled as rational individuals with targets well defined and full capabilities to access (...) to information, without both temporal limitations and perfect reasoning abilities to obtain their preferences are taken account. -/- However, other models of agent, in the bounded rationality perspective, could help to understand better the interrelationships. I adopt embedded argumentative reasoning processes as satisfying criteria to analyze the expert function in a new socio technical environment that has changed deeply the mechanism and tools to access and to aggregate information. The open access to information and institutional arrangements addressed towards team knowledge could offer other kind of tools to affront the conflict, even its possible benefits. -/- The “crowd expertise” is emerging as an actual possibility and it must be incorporated to affront with conflicts. The very possibility of obtaining knowledge generated by “many minds”, collective wisdoms, brings up a real challenge to the conservative or elitist conception of the masses, because masses now emerge as a smart collective user, with new mechanisms to select and produce quality knowledge. These new collective actions differ deeply from the traditional modes of social organization. A new mass society is emerging now as a hybrid one that breaks some conceptual traditional models, such as Ortega y Gasset’s ones, and induces a structured way of flourishing both new practices and new knowledge with transforming capabilities. (shrink)
In 1969 Harry Frankfurt published his hugely influential paper 'Alternate Possibilities and Moral Responsibility' in which he claimed to present a counterexample to the so-called 'Principle of Alternate Possibilities' ('a person is morally responsible for what he has done only if he could have done otherwise'). The success of Frankfurt-style cases as counterexamples to the Principle has been much debated since. I present an objection to these cases that, in questioning their conceptual cogency, undercuts many of those debates. Such cases (...) all require a counterfactual mechanism that could cause an agent to perform an action that he cannot avoid performing. I argue that, given our concept of what it is for someone to act, this requirement is inconsistent. Frankfurt-style alleged counterexamples are cases where an agent is morally responsible for an action he performs even though, the claim goes, he could not have avoided performing that action. However, it has recently been argued, e.g. by John Fischer, that a counterexample to the Principle could be a 'Fischer-style case', i.e. a case where the agent can either perform the action or do nothing else. I argue that, although Fischer-style cases do not share the conceptual flaw common to all Frankfurt-style cases, they also fail as counterexamples to the Principle. The paper finishes with a brief discussion of the significance of the Principle of Alternate Possibilities. (shrink)
In the past thirty years or so, the doctrine that actions are events has become an essential, and sometimes unargued, part of the received view in the philosophy of action, despite the efforts of a few philosophers to undermine the consensus. For example, the entry for Agency in a recently published reference guide to the philosophy of mind begins with the following sentence: A central task in the philosophy of action is that of spelling out the differences between events in (...) general and those events that fall squarely into the category of human action. There is no consensus about what events are. But it is generally agreed that, whatever events may prove to be, actions are a species or a class of events. We believe that the received view is mistaken: actions are not events. We concede that for most purposes, the kind of categorial refinement which is involved in either affirming or denying that actions are events is frankly otiose. Our common idiom does not stress the difference between actions and events, at least not in general terms, because it has no need to. Perhaps it sounds a little odd to say that some events are performed; but if we balked at describing, say, the abdication of Edward VIII as one of the politically significant events in Britain in 1936, it could not be for metaphysical reasons. And since actions, like events, are datable — though often, as we shall see, only imprecisely — actions are said to take place and to occur. But an important class of actions consist in moving something; indeed, according to many philosophers, every action consists in moving something. And when we consider actions of this sort from a theoretical point of view it becomes imperative to distinguish between actions and events. Or so we shall argue. (shrink)
Reasons can play a variety of roles in a variety of contexts. For instance, reasons can motivate and guide us in our actions (and omissions), in the sense that we often act in the light of reasons. And reasons can be grounds for beliefs, desires and emotions and can be used to evaluate, and sometimes to justify, all these. In addition, reasons are used in explanations: both in explanations of human actions, beliefs, desires, emotions, etc., and in explanations of a (...) wide range of phenomena involving all sorts of animate and inanimate substances. This diversity has encouraged the thought that the term 'reason' is ambiguous or has different senses in different contexts. Moreover, this view often goes hand in hand with the claim that reasons of these different kinds belong to different ontological categories: to facts (or something similar) in the case of normative/justifying reasons, and to mental states in the case of motivating/explanatory reasons. In this paper I shall explore some of the main roles that reasons play and, on that basis, I shall offer a classification of kinds of reasons. As will become clear, my classification of reasons is at odds with much of the literature in several respects: first, because of my views about how we should understand the claim that reasons are classified into different kinds; second, because of the kinds into which I think reasons should be classified; and, finally, because of the consequences I think this view has for the ontology of reasons. (shrink)
This paper explores the question whether whatever is done intentionally is done for a reason. Apart from helping us to think about those concepts, the question is interesting because it affords an opportunity to identify a number of misconceptions about reasons. In the paper I argue that there are things that are done intentionally but not done for a reason. I examine two different kinds of example: things done “because one wants to” and “purely expressive actions”. Concerning the first, I (...) argue that the tendency to think that things done because one wants to are things done for a reason derives from conflating the reason that explains why someone did something with their reason for doing it. While these sometimes coincide, they need not always do so. And although the fact that someone wanted to do something can contribute to explaining the person's action, it is not normally that person's reason for doing that thing. Purely expressive actions also provide examples of things done intentionally but not for a reason. I argue that, although those actions are spontaneous, they are nonetheless intentional and that, since they are mere expressions of emotions, they are not done for reasons - although there are reasons why we do them. (shrink)
This paper seeks a better understanding of the elements of practical reasoning: premises and conclusion. It argues that the premises of practical reasoning do not normally include statements such as ‘I want to ϕ’; that the reasoning in practical reasoning is the same as in theoretical reasoning and that what makes it practical is, first, that the point of the relevant reasoning is given by the goal that the reasoner seeks to realize by means of that reasoning and the subsequent (...) action; second, that the premises of such reasoning show the goodness of the action to be undertaken; third, that the conclusions of such reasoning may be actions or decisions, that can be accompanied by expressions of intention, either in action, or for the future; and that these are justified, and might be contradicted, in ways that are not only peculiar to them (i.e. in ways that diverge from those found in theoretical reasoning), but are distinctively practical, in that they involve reference to reasons for acting and to expressions of intention, respectively.1. (shrink)
Two conceptions of motivating reasons, i.e. the reasons for which we act, can be found in the literature: (1) the dominant 'psychological conception', which says that motivating reasons are an agent's believing something; and (2) the 'non-psychological' conception, the minority view, which says that they are what the agent believes, i.e. his beliefs. In this paper I outline a version of the minority view, and defend it against what have been thought to be insuperable difficulties - in particular, difficulties concerning (...) 'error cases' (cases where what the agent believes is false); and difficulties concerning the explanation of action. Concerning error cases, I argue that if we are motivated by something believed that is true, what motivates us to act is a motivating reason. By contrast, if we are motivated by something believed that is false, then what motivates us to act is merely an apparent motivating reason. Either way, what motivates us is, as the non-psychological conception says, what we believe and not our believing it. I offer an account of the relation between motivating reasons and the explanation of action, and argue that this account helps bring out two important points. One is that the fact that we often do, and indeed sometimes must, use explanations such as 'He did it because he believed that p' does not vindicate the psychological conception of motivating reasons. The other is that endorsing the non-psychological conception of motivating reasons does not commit one to a non-factive view of explanations of action. (shrink)
This paper presents a restructured set of axioms for categorical logic. In virtue of it, the syllogistic with indefinite terms is deduced and proved, within the categorical logic boundaries. As a result, the number of all the conclusive syllogisms is deduced through a simple and axiomatic methodology. Moreover, the distinction between immediate and mediate inferences disappears, which reinstitutes the unity of Aristotelian logic.
A great effort has been devoted to formulating a classical relativistic theory of spin compatible with quantum relativistic wave equations. The main difficulty in connecting classical and quantum theories rests in finding a parameter that plays the role of proper time at a purely quantum level. We present a partial review of several proposals of classical and quantum spin theories from the pioneering works of Thomas and Frenkel, revisited in the classical BMT work, to the semiclassical model of Barut and (...) Zanghi. We show that the last model can be obtained from a semiclassical limit of the Feynman proper time parametrization of the Dirac equation. At the quantum level, we derive spin precession equations in the Heisenberg picture. Analogies and differences with respect to classical theories are discussed in detail. (shrink)
Like much in this book, the title and dust jacket illustration are clever. The first evokes Hume's remark in the Treatise that ‘Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions.’ The second, which represents a cross between a dance-step and a clinch, links up with the title and anticipates an example used throughout the book to support its central claims: that Ronnie, unlike Bradley, has a reason to go to a party – namely, that there will (...) be dancing at the party – because Ronnie, unlike Bradley, loves dancing. So, the explanation of why Ronnie's and Bradley's reasons differ lies in their respective psychologies.Schroeder argues for a version of the Humean Theory of Reasons he calls Hypotheticalism, which says that every reason is explained by a desire in the same way as Ronnie's is. Schroeder argues that on almost every count, Hypotheticalism is as good as, or preferable to, the Humean and non-Humean alternatives; and he defends it against an array of objections. For example, he explains that while Hypotheticalism claims that ‘desires have to serve in the explanation of every reason because desires are part of the correct analysis of reasons’ , it does not claim that a desire that explains a reason is part of that reason: rather it is a background condition for it. This, Schroeder argues, allows him to rebut a variety of objections that depend on conflating reasons with their background conditions. Other …. (shrink)
The genesis of Feynman's original approach to QED is reviewed. The main ideas of his original presentation at the Pocono Conference are discussed and compared with the ones involved in his action-at-distance formulation of classical electrodynamics. The role of the de Sitter group in Feynman's visualization of space-time processes is emphasized.
Ethical beliefs may vary across cultures but there are things that must be valued as preconditions to any cultural practice. Physical and mental abilities vital to believing, valuing and practising a culture are such preconditions and it is always important to protect them. If one is to practise a distinct culture, she must at least have these basic abilities. Access to basic healthcare is one way to ensure that vital abilities are protected. John Rawls argued that access to all-purpose primary (...) goods must be ensured. Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum claim that universal capabilities are what resources are meant to enable. Len Doyal and Ian Gough identify physical health and autonomy as basic needs of every person in every culture. When we disagree on what to prioritize, when resources to satisfy competing demands are scarce, our common needs can provide a point of normative convergence. Need-based rationing, however, has been criticized for being too indeterminate to give guidance for deciding which healthcare services to prioritize and for tending to create a bottomless-pit problem. But there is a difference between needing something (first-order need) and needing to have the ability to need (second-order need). Even if we disagree about which first-order need to prioritize, we must accept the importance of satisfying our second-order need to have the ability to value things. We all have a second-order need for basic healthcare as a means to protect our vital abilities even if we differ in what our cultures consider to be particular first-order needs. (shrink)
Após a obrigatoriedade da educação sexual (ES) nas escolas portuguesas em 2009, pretendemos conhecer que perspectiva têm os professores ( N = 307) sobre a ES. Através de um questionário on-line , analisado através de estatística descritiva e de análise factorial e inferencial, avaliámos as atitudes gerais sobre a ES, o conhecimento, o conforto e a disponibilidade para a ensinar, a importância atribuída a diversos tópicos de ES e o nível de escolaridade em que devem ser introduzidos. Os professores revelaram (...) atitudes ainda mais positivas do que em estudos anteriores. Consideraram ter um conhecimento, um conforto e uma disponibilidade moderados, realidade que se mantém inalterada na última década. Ao contrário de estudos anteriores, o início da ES foi proposto mais precocemente, entre o pré-escolar e o 5º ano.1 A perspectiva de ES defendida revela um modelo médico-preventivo, valorizando-se mais a saúde sexual e menos o comportamento sexual e as questões de género. A percepção de formação considerada suficiente, a erotofilia e pontualmente o sexo feminino destacam-se na adopção de uma perspectiva abrangente de ES. A análise de resultados foi, sempre que possível, comparada com resultados de estudos similares realizados no Brasil. (shrink)
The history of the classification of chemical elements is reviewed from the point of view of a bibliophile. The influence that relevant books had on the development of the periodic table and, conversely, how it was incorporated into textbooks, treatises and literary works, with an emphasis on the Spanish bibliography are analyzed in this paper. The reader will also find unexpected connections of the periodic table with the Bible or the architect Buckminster Fuller.
Sharia is a religious legal system that is based on the divine mandates revealed in the Quram and the Sunna as has been interpreted bu the main Islamic Schools of Law, both Sunni and Shiita. In orden to understand what is at stake, distinctions between the main Islamic traditions in this ground was one of the factors that have led to an imprecise use of terminology of the Quram which refers to the Islamic divorce, that is: the Talaq. Its confusion (...) has also been reflected in the case law of the Spanish Supreme Court which regards to the effects of Talaq under the Spanish Civil Law. Bilateral Accord concluded betwen the Spanish Goverment and the Islamic Religious Comunities of Spain has not regulated the requirements of the recognition of the islamic divorce in our legal system. Nevertheless, whether repudiation has been made under the Civil Law of a Muslim State, it could be recognized in Sapin under the rules of procedure of the International Private Law. The main purpose of such recognition is to guarantee the basic civil rights and liberties of the woman who has been repudiated. (shrink)
Ce texte propose une analyse des mécanismes argumentatifs mis en œuvre dans les lettres que Hernán Cortés, conquistador du Mexique, a adressées à Charles V (Cartas de Relación) pour légitimer sa conquête du territoire qui deviendra la Nouvelle Espagne et, par ce biais, le Nouveau Monde. Il s’agit en particulier de montrer l’emploi du concept rhétorique d’inventio dans le passage d’une appropriation conceptuelle du « Nouveau Monde » (par l’élaboration de ce concept) à sa domination territoriale (la fondation de Veracruz (...) et la création de la Nouvelle Espagne). (shrink)
Comienzo este artículo mostrando que las teorías neohumeanas de la causalidad probabilista basadas en la noción de relevancia estadlstica (como la teoria de Suppes, 1970) se encuentran con múltiples e insuperables dificultades. Luego analizo brevemente algunas versiones de la causalidad probabilista que relativizan o prescinden de dicha noción: la de Cartwright, que postula la existencia de capacidades causales, y las de Salmon y Dowe, quienes, aunque se proponen no abandonar el suelo humeano, creen necesario introducir una ontología de propensiones. Y (...) concluyo que el análisis de estas versiones demuestra que la causalidad probabilista constituye un nuevo y serio obstáculo para el enfoque humeano o neohumeano de la causalidad.In this paper I first show that the neohumean theories of probabilistic causality based on the notion of statistical relevance (as that of Suppes, 1970) run into many and unsolvable difficulties. Then I briefty analyze some accounts of probabilistic causality which relativize or avoid this notion: the Cartwright’s account, claiming the existence of causal capacities, and those of Salmon and Dowe, though trying to remain on a Humean ground, believe that the introduction of an ontology of propensities is required. I finally conclude that the analysis of these accounts shows that probabilistic causality constitutes a new and serious obstacle to the Humean or neohumean view of causality. (shrink)
The high levels of land use, inputs, and investment, along with the specific forms of organization and management that characterized Cuba's state extensive growth model during the 1980s, could not overcome the challenges posed by the integrated care required by the sugarcane crop and corresponding industrial activities. Starting in 1993, large state farms have been converted into Basic Units of Cooperative Production with some degree of autonomy. Although first-year production results are not satisfactory, it is too early to evaluate their (...) performance. Their establishment, however, is a step in the right direction to alleviate the problems that the previous forms of organization and management inherent to the state extensive growth model were unable to solve. (shrink)
En este artículo explico el problema de la circularidad, tradicionalmente achacado a la metafísica cartesiana, destacando la importancia que, según Descartes, reviste esta cuestión. Argumento que las versiones del cartesianismo que ofrecen algunos de los comentarios más populares, utilizados en lengua castellana (los de Margaret Wilson y John Cottingham), resultan incompatibles con las posiciones que Descartes mantiene en una serie de textos. Teorías de ese corte sólo podrían justificarse por su valor filosófico intrínseco, pero también sostengo que ambas reconstrucciones presentan (...) debilidades conceptuales que las llevan al fracaso, sea como pretendida solución, en el caso de Wilson; o bien como intento por desplazar o disolver el problema central, en el caso de Cottingham. The problem of logical circularity, which traditionally has been blamed on Cartesian metaphysics, was clearly seen by Descartes himself, who moreover advertised its avoidance (or its solution) as a crucial merit of his own philosophy. On this subject two of the most popular commentaries on Descartes -those of Margaret Wilson and John Cottingham, which are widely used in teaching at least in Spanish- are criticized. Some of the objections I set here against both readings are textual in nature, while other ones hinge, as I argue, on their respective conceptual weaknesses. Wilson's proposed solution is shown to the botched, while Cottingham is shown to fail in his attempt to dissolve the problem. (shrink)
Our aim in this paper is to analyse the possibilities of a logical or epistemological equivalence between the projets of R. Dedekind and G. Frege for the foundations of arithmetic. It is well know that both of them have a “logicist” point of vew. But we think that even if some coincidences exist in the wa y they define the main concepts of arithmetic, some important differences remain.
The article focuses on the definition of constitutional conflicts as moral dilemmas. It discusses the conception of tragic conflicts by which “loss” is a distinctive feature that identifies both moral and constitutional dilemmas. It also asserts the peculiarity of constitutional conflicts vis-à-vis moral dilemmas, as well as the possibility of legal solutions to constitutional conflicts.
Empirical research on Rational Choice Theory has brought up two focus of the economics laws problem. On one hand, we find the authors who state that the neoclassical economics laws are explanatory and predictive on specific cases: in transparent contexts in which the standard rationality operates successfully. On the other hand, we find the authors who state that the descriptive theories of the rational choice opens up a research path in which fundamental principles of the neoclassical building could be questioned. (...) Both view points have generated an important standard Rational Choice Theory revision what has produced the so called descriptive view point . It implies understanding that most of the choices take place under risky or uncertainty conditions and, that, these choices are far more complex than the normative Rational Choice Theory supposes. This article's main goal is to expand the descriptive point of view in rational choice, theorizing how some factors, coming from the social and cultural environment, operate within the rational choice. Into space of this research essay we find the debatable question of whether these sort of proposals expands the explanation of the deviation of the rational choice normative theory, and that, of the disturbing causes of the microeconomics laws, or they call into question fundamental principles of these laws and therefore they are opening the possibility to focus some economics issues in a new different manner. (shrink)
George Rupp's Beyond Existentialism and Zen, in its typological-structural analysis and model of religious pluralism, proffers an alternative to the dominant Kantian models (e.g., by John Hicks and Sarvepalli Radhakrish- nan). The question for Rupp is not which religion is true and how to decide that issue-answered in the Kantian approach in terms of an unknowable Ding an sich that all religions, albeit imperfectly, try to approximate or conceptualize (i.e., God or the Transcendent)-but rather how do religions represent, at least (...) in principle, a structural possibility for salvation or human flourishing, however different and incompatible their distinct prima facie truth claims might be. Although the potential for a radically relativistic model is implicit in Rupp's approach, it is argued here that his Hegelian assumptions lead him to accept relativism only in a provisional ("critical") way; for Rupp, under ideal epistemic conditions (e.g., the Peircian "end of inquiry"), one final conceptualization of ultimate reality will emerge as absolute truth. In the final part of this essay a version of the relativistic model implicit in Rupp's approach is defended against both the Kantian model of Hicks et al. and Rupp's Hegelian-Peircian model, which, it is argued, is incompatible certainly with the spirit of his own typological-structural analysis, if not with the letter. In challenging what Rupp calls the truth of Zen, it is further argued that not only is more than one salvific structural possibility available to us through the different world religions but also that realizing these possibilities is principally a human responsibility, and that the cosmos is quite indifferent to and compatible with several possibilities, from the most destructive to the most conducive to human well-being and flourishing. (shrink)