Simple heuristics that make us smart presents a valuable and valid interpretation of how we make fast decisions particularly in situations of ignorance and uncertainty. What is missing is how this intersects with thinking under even greater uncertainty or ignorance, such as novice problem solving, and with the development of expert cognition.
Thom Brooks'sHegel's Political Philosophy: A Systematic Reading of the Philosophy of Rightpresents a very clear and methodologically self-conscious series of discussions of key topics within Hegel's classic text. As one might expect for a ‘systematic’ reading, the main body of Brooks's text commences with an opening chapter on Hegel's system. Then follow seven chapters, the topics of which are encountered sequentially as one reads through thePhilosophy of Right. Brooks's central claim is that too often Hegel's theories or views on (...) any of these topics are misunderstood because of a tendency to isolate the relevant passages from the encompassing structure of thePhilosophy of Rightitself, and, in turn, from Hegel's system of philosophy as a whole, with its logical underpinnings. Brooks is clearly right in holding that Hegel hadintendedthePhilosophy of Rightto be read against the background of ‘the system’ and the ‘logic’ articulating it —nobody doubts that— but there is a further substantive issue here.Shouldcontemporary readers heed Hegel's advice? Brooks's answer is emphatically in the affirmative, and what results is a series of illuminating discussions in which he makes a case for his own interpretations on the basis of systematic considerations, presented against a range of alternatives taken from the contemporary secondary literature, which is amply covered, often in the extensive endnotes to the book. (shrink)
Hegel was a systematic philosopher, who grounded his system on a speculative logic. But his greatest philosophical contributions lie in his reflections on human culture: ethics, social and political philosophy, aesthetics, religion and the philosophy of history. This fact poses a problem for anyone who accepts it and then attempts to provide a philosophical discussion of Hegel's thought with the aim of making it available to a later age.There can be no doubt that any authentic treatment of Hegel's social and (...) political philosophy must take account of Hegel's explicit intention to ground it in his logical system of thought-determinations. But if we simply take that intention at face value, we make our appropriation of Hegel hostage to his philosophical system and speculative logic, which now are at best outdated and, though they may themselves contain some insights of lasting philosophical value, are not of nearly as much philosophical interest as Hegel's thoughts about human culture, society and history. A Hegel whose ethical, social, historical and cultural insights could be appropriated only by those who accept his speculative logical system would be a Hegel few would ever read or learn from.The other horn of the same dilemma is that those interpreters who are honest enough that they don't accept uncritically Hegel's own account of the structure of his philosophical accomplishments will inevitably be charged with doing violence to Hegel's thought, ignoring its true structure and unity. To quote a passage from Fred Beiser, which Thom Brooks uses to pillory all such Hegel scholarship: ‘We make Hegel alive and relevant, a useful contributor to our concerns; but that is only because we put our own views into his mouth. (shrink)
In this paper, I draw a parallel between aspects of René Thom’s topological program understood as semiophysics, and Jakob von Uexküll’s theory of meaning. Through the use of Thom’s semiophysics, I believe that it is possible to interpret Uexküll’s intuition that meaning unfolds a kind of transformation in an organism’s transactions with the environment: that is, meaning incorporates topological spaces. The central idea in question is that beyond the semantic, syntactical and pragmatic human use of language, meaning incorporates (...) specific topologies by expressing the spatial interaction between organism and environment. This is what I mean by René Thom’s reading of Jakob von Uexküll. (shrink)
To what extent can humorism be a legitimate disposition toward the Absurd? The Absurd is born from the insurmountable contradiction between one’s ceaseless striving and the absence of an ultimate resolution – or, as I prefer to call it, the ‘dissolution of resolution’. Humoristic Absurdism is the commitment to a pattern of humorous responses to the Absurd, which regard this absurd condition, as well as its manifestation in absurd situations, as a comical phenomenon. Although the humoristic disposition seems promising, by (...) virtue of humor’s recognition of incongruity and its denial of an ultimate resolution, and succeeds in countering three major objections, it falls prey to the claim that comprehensive humorism portrays as frivolous what is earnest, thereby renouncing the gravity of the desire for ultimate resolution, which is fundamental to the notion of the Absurd. In an attempt to explore alternative roles for humor in a legitimate disposition toward the Absurd, Metamodern Absurdism is suggested, which revolves around a post-ironic oscillation between humor and earnestness. In short, only in a role limited to one pole of an oscillatory pattern of responses can humor be integrated in a legitimate disposition toward the Absurd. (shrink)
Severe poverty is a major global problem about risk and inequality. What, if any, is the relationship between equality, fairness and responsibility in an unequal world? I argue for four conclusions. The first is the moral urgency of severe poverty. We have too many global neighbours that exist in a state of emergency and whose suffering is intolerable. The second is that severe poverty is a problem concerning global injustice that is relevant, but not restricted, to questions about responsibility. If (...) none were responsible, this does not eliminate all compelling claims to provide assistance. The third is that severe poverty represents an inequality too far; it is a condition of extremity with denial of basic needs. The fourth is that there is a need for an approach that captures all relevant cases – and the capabilities approach and the connection theory of remedial responsibilities are highlighted as having special promise. (shrink)
Although compassion in healthcare differs in important ways from compassion in everyday life, it provides a key, applied microcosm in which the science of compassion can be applied. Compassion is among the most important virtues in medicine, expected from medical professionals and anticipated by patients. Yet, despite evidence of its centrality to effective clinical care, research has focused on compassion fatigue or barriers to compassion and neglected to study the fact that most healthcare professionals maintain compassion for their patients. In (...) contributing to this understudied area, the present report provides an exploratory investigation into how healthcare professionals report trying to maintain compassion. In the study, 151 professionals were asked questions about how they maintained compassion for their patients. Text responses were coded, with a complex mixture of internal vs. external, self vs. patient, and immediate vs. general strategies being reported. Exploratory analyses revealed reliable individual differences in the tendency to report strategies of particular types but no consistent age-related differences between older and younger practitioners emerged. Overall, these data suggest that while a range of compassion-maintaining strategies were reported, strategies were typically concentrated in particular areas and most professionals seek to maintain care using internal strategies. A preliminary typology of compassion maintaining strategies is proposed, study limitations and future directions are discussed, and implications for the study of how compassion is maintained are considered. (shrink)
Paul Thom's book presents Kilwardby's science of logic as a body of demonstrative knowledge about inferences and their validity, about the semantics of non-modal and modal propositions, and about the logic of genus and species. This science is thoroughly intensional. It grounds the logic of inference on "that in virtue of which" the inference holds. It bases the truth conditions of propositions on relations between conceptual entities. It explains the logic of genus and species through the notion of essence. (...)Thom interprets this science as a formal logic of intensions with its own proof theory and semantics. This comprehensive reconstruction of Kilwardby's logic shows the medieval master to be one of the most interesting logicians of the thirteenth century. (shrink)
This new second edition of Punishment includes a revised and expanded defence of the groundbreaking unified theory of punishment that brings together elements of retribution, deterrence and rehabilitation into a new coherent framework. Thom Brooks expands the chapter length case studies from capital punishment, juvenile offending, domestic violence and sex crimes to include new chapters on social media offences and corporate liability addressing some of today's most pressing issues in criminal justice.
Punishment is a topic of increasing importance for citizens and policy makers. Why should we punish criminals? Which theory of punishment is most compelling? Is the death penalty ever justified? These questions and many others are addressed in this highly engaging guide. Punishment is a critical introduction to the philosophy of punishment offering a new and refreshing approach that will benefit readers of all backgrounds and interests. This is the first critical guide to examine all leading contemporary theories of punishment, (...) including the communicative theory of punishment, restorative justice, and the unified theory of punishment. There are also several case studies examined in detail including capital punishment, juvenile offending, and domestic abuse. -/- Punishment highlights the problems and prospects of different approaches in order to argue for a more pluralistic and compelling perspective that is novel and groundbreaking. -/- Introduction; Retributivism; Deterrence; Rehabilitation; Restorative Justice; Rawls, Hart, and "mixed" theories; Expressivism; The Unified Theory; Capital Punishment; Juvenile Offending; Domestic Abuse; Sexual Crimes; Conclusion; Index. (shrink)
From Syrian asylum seekers to super-rich foreign investors, immigration is one of the most controversial issues facing Britain today. Politicians kick the subject from one election to the next with energetic but ineffectual promises to ‘crack down’, while newspaper editors plaster it across front pages. -/- But few know the truth behind the headlines; indeed, the almost daily changes to our complex immigration laws pile up so quickly that even the officials in charge struggle to keep up. -/- In this (...) clear, concise guide, Thom Brooks, one of the UK’s leading experts on British citizenship – and a newly initiated British citizen himself – deftly navigates the perennially thorny path, exploding myths and exposing absurdities along the way. Ranging from how to test for ‘Britishness’ to how to tackle EU ‘free movement’, Becoming British explores how UK immigration really works – and sparks a long-overdue debate about how it should work. -/- Combining expert analysis with a blistering critique of the failings of successive governments, this is the definitive guide to one of the most hotly disputed issues in the UK today. Wherever you stand on the immigration debate, Brooks’s wryly observed account is the essential roadmap. (shrink)
Global justice is an exciting area of refreshing, innovative new ideas for a changing world facing significant challenges. Not only does work in this area often force us to rethink about ethics and political philosophy more generally, but its insights contain seeds of hope for addressing some of the greatest global problems facing humanity today. The Oxford Handbook of Global Justice has been selective in bringing together some of the most pressing topics and issues in global justice as understood by (...) the leading voices from both established and rising stars across twenty-five new chapters. This Handbook explores severe poverty, climate change, egalitarianism, global citizenship, human rights, immigration, territorial rights, and much more. (shrink)
Human expression is open-ended, versatile and diverse, ranging from ordinary language use to painting, from exaggerated displays of affection to micro-movements that aid coordination. Here we present and defend the claim that this expressive diversity is united by an interrelated suite of cognitive capacities, the evolved functions of which are the expression and recognition of informative intentions. We describe how evolutionary dynamics normally leash communication to narrow domains of statistical mutual benefit, and how they are unleashed in humans. The relevant (...) cognitive capacities are cognitive adaptations to living in a partner choice social ecology; and they are, correspondingly, part of the ordinarily developing human cognitive phenotype, emerging early and reliably in ontogeny. In other words, we identify distinctive features of our species’ social ecology to explain how and why humans, and only humans, evolved the cognitive capacities that, in turn, lead to massive diversity and open-endedness in means and modes of expression. Language use is but one of these modes of expression, albeit one of manifestly high importance. We make cross-species comparisons, describe how the relevant cognitive capacities can evolve in a gradual manner, and survey how unleashed expression facilitates not only language use but novel behaviour in many other domains too, focusing on the examples of joint action, teaching, punishment and art, all of which are ubiquitous in human societies but relatively rare in other species. Much of this diversity derives from graded aspects of human expression, which can be used to satisfy informative intentions in creative and new ways. We aim to help reorient cognitive pragmatics, as a phenomenon that is not a supplement to linguistic communication and on the periphery of language science, but rather the foundation of the many of the most distinctive features of human behaviour, society and culture. (shrink)
A new edition of the first systematic reading of Hegel's political philosophy Elements of the Philosophy of Right is widely acknowledged to be one of the most important works in the history of political philosophy. This is the first book on the subject to take Hegel's system of speculative philosophy seriously as an important component of any robust understanding of this text. Key Features •Sets out the difference between 'systematic' and 'non-systematic' readings of Philosophy of Right •Outlines the unique structure (...) of Hegel's philosophical arguments •Explores key areas of Hegel's political philosophy: his theories of property, punishment, morality, law, monarchy, war, democracy and history This significantly expanded second edition includes: a more detailed explanation of Hegel's philosophical system, two new chapters on his theories of democracy and history and an appendix detailing the implications this work has for future interpretations of Hegel's philosophy. (shrink)
A leading figure in the emerging field of extinction studies, Thom van Dooren puts philosophy into conversation with the natural sciences and his ethnographic encounters to vivify the cultural and ethical significance of modern-day extinctions. Unlike other meditations on the subject, _Flight Ways_ incorporates the particularities of real animals and their worlds, drawing philosophers, natural scientists, and general readers into the experience of living among and losing biodiversity. Each chapter of _Flight Ways_ focuses on a different species or group (...) of birds: North Pacific albatrosses, Indian vultures, an endangered colony of penguins in Australia, Hawaiian crows, and the iconic whooping cranes of North America. Written in eloquent and moving prose, the book takes stock of what is lost when a life form disappears from the world--the wide-ranging ramifications that ripple out to implicate a number of human and more-than-human others. Van Dooren intimately explores what life is like for those who must live on the edge of extinction, balanced between life and oblivion, taking care of their young and grieving their dead. He bolsters his studies with real-life accounts from scientists and local communities at the forefront of these developments. No longer abstract entities with Latin names, these species become fully realized characters enmeshed in complex and precarious ways of life, sparking our sense of curiosity, concern, and accountability toward others in a rapidly changing world. (shrink)
A formal analysis is offered of Pseudo-Scotus's theory of the conversion of (i) propositions containing singular terms (including propositions with a singular term as predicate): and (ii) propositions with a quantified predicate. An attempt is made to steer a middle course between using the Aristotelian logic as a framework for the analysis, and using a Fregean framework.
This book explores noteworthy approaches to modal syllogistic adopted by medieval logicians including Abélard, Albert the Great, Avicenna, Averröes, Jean Buridan, Richard Campsall, Robert Kilwardby, and William of Ockham. The book situates these approaches in relation to Aristotle's discussion in the Prior and Posterior Analytics, and other parts of the Organon, but also in relation to the thought of Alexander of Aphrodisias and Boethius on the one hand, and to modern interpretations of the modal syllogistic on the other. Problems explored (...) include: Aristotle's doctrine of modal conversion, the pure and mixed necessity-moods, modal ecthesis, the pure and mixed contingency-moods, and Aristotle's use of counter-examples. Medieval logicians brought various concepts to bear on these problems, including the distinction between per se and per accidens terms, the notion of essential predication, the distinction between ut nunc and simpliciter propositions, the distinction between de dicto and de re modals, and the notion of ampliation. All these are examined in this book. (shrink)