It would be an exaggeration to say that the Victorian age in England was philosophically barren; but it would not be a great exaggeration. By this somewhat uncomplimentary opening, I do not mean to imply that Victorian England contained no competent philosophers at all. Indeed, if one considers thinkers of the second and lower ranks only, their literary productivity was probably greater than those of any previous period in English, or even British, history, even if in sheer numbers they can (...) hardly compete with the prolific hordes of our own century. It is at the very highest level of philosophical greatness and originality that one finds the Victorian age wanting. The great period of British philosophy, which runs roughly from the 1630s to the 1770s, contains at least three thinkers who cannot be matched in the succeeding 140 years, Hobbes, Locke and Hume. (shrink)
Seen | Unseen is a deep analysis of the interconnections between science and the visual arts, in which Martin Kemp takes the reader on richly illustrated journey from the Renaissance masters to the imagery of cutting-edge science. From Leonardo, Durer, and Galileo to the early photographers, and from Darwin to Stephen J. Gould, this book considers the way in which artists and scientists have deceived the world and responded to its patterns.
Gary Kemp presents a penetrating investigation of key issues in the philosophy of language, by means of a comparative study of two great figures of late twentieth-century philosophy. He reveals unexplored tensions between the views of Quine and Davidson, and presents a powerful argument in favour of Quine and methodological naturalism.
Seen | Unseen is a richly illustrated, analysis of the interconnections between science and the visual arts as Martin Kemp explores the responses of artists, scientists and their instruments, to the world. From Leonardo, Durer and the inventors of photography to contemporary sculptors, and from Galileo and Darwin to Stephen J. Gould, Kemp considers the way in which scientists and artists have perceived the world and responded to its patterns.
In this strikingly bold and original work, Kemp argues that the Western idea of time reversed itself between the fourteenth and the eighteenth century from a static and syncretic image of a temporal world in which all time is uniform, the past is the arbiter of truth and all inherited knowledge is eternally viable, and no secrets lie hidden in time waiting to be revealed to a future age; to a dynamic and supersessive model of history in which the (...) past dispenses only ignorance and error. Kemp describes these two opposed historical worlds, these "time texts," and traces the transition between them, its mechanism, and its motivation, concluding by drawing out the epistemological consequences of supersessive history for the modern intellect. (shrink)
Philosophy of language explores some of the fundamental yet most technical problems in philosophy, such as meaning and reference, semantics, and propositional attitudes. Some of its greatest exponents, including Gottlob Frege, Ludwig Wittgenstein and Bertrand Russell are amongst the major figures in the history of philosophy. In this clear and carefully structured introduction to the subject Gary Kemp explains the following key topics: the basic nature of philosophy of language and its historical development early arguments concerning the role of (...) meaning, including cognitive meaning vs expressivism, context and compositionality Frege’s arguments concerning sense and reference; non-existent objects Russell and the theory of definite descriptions modern theories including Kripke and Putnam; arguments concerning necessity, analyticity and natural kind terms indexicality, context and modality. What are indexicals? Davidson’s theory of language and the ‘principle of charity’ propositional attitudes Quine’s naturalism and its consequences for philosophy of language. Chapter summaries, annotated further reading and a glossary make this an indispensable introduction to those teaching philosophy of language and will be particularly useful for students coming to the subject for the first time. (shrink)
Learning to understand a single causal system can be an achievement, but humans must learn about multiple causal systems over the course of a lifetime. We present a hierarchical Bayesian framework that helps to explain how learning about several causal systems can accelerate learning about systems that are subsequently encountered. Given experience with a set of objects, our framework learns a causal model for each object and a causal schema that captures commonalities among these causal models. The schema organizes the (...) objects into categories and specifies the causal powers and characteristic features of these categories and the characteristic causal interactions between categories. A schema of this kind allows causal models for subsequent objects to be rapidly learned, and we explore this accelerated learning in four experiments. Our results confirm that humans learn rapidly about the causal powers of novel objects, and we show that our framework accounts better for our data than alternative models of causal learning. (shrink)
If Bayesian Fundamentalism existed, Jones & Love's (J&L's) arguments would provide a necessary corrective. But it does not. Bayesian cognitive science is deeply concerned with characterizing algorithms and representations, and, ultimately, implementations in neural circuits; it pays close attention to environmental structure and the constraints of behavioral data, when available; and it rigorously compares multiple models, both within and across papers. J&L's recommendation of Bayesian Enlightenment corresponds to past, present, and, we hope, future practice in Bayesian cognitive science.
This research engages with the problem of company-community conflict in mining. The inequitable distributions of risks, impacts, and benefits are key drivers of resource conflicts and are likely to remain at the forefront of mining-related research and advocacy. Procedural and interactional forms of justice therefore lie at the very heart of some of the real and ongoing challenges in mining, including: intractable local-level conflict; emerging global norms and performance standards; and ever-increasing expectations for the industry to translate high-level corporate social (...) responsibility policy into on-the-ground practice. This research focuses on the "process" aspects of resource conflicts through an examination of existing grievance-handling procedures at six mining operations where company-community conflict was present. In their current form, and on their own, the six mechanisms were found to be insufficient in their capacity to advance justice. The authors argue that if the overall objective of global norms is that companies construct and perform grievance handling in ways that strongly preference just practices, then "mechanisms-inpractice" must be better understood and constructively critiqued along all justice dimensions. (shrink)
This paper considers an approach to teaching ethics in bioengineering based on the How People Learn (HPL) framework. Curricula based on this framework have been effective in mathematics and science instruction from the kindergarten to the college levels. This framework is well suited to teaching bioengineering ethics because it helps learners develop “adaptive expertise”. Adaptive expertise refers to the ability to use knowledge and experience in a domain to learn in unanticipated situations. It differs from routine expertise, which requires using (...) knowledge appropriately to solve routine problems. Adaptive expertise is an important educational objective for bioengineers because the regulations and knowledge base in the discipline are likely to change significantly over the course of their careers. This study compares the performance of undergraduate bioengineering students who learned about ethics for stem cell research using the HPL method of instruction to the performance of students who learned following a standard lecture sequence. Both groups learned the factual material equally well, but the HPL group was more prepared to act adaptively when presented with a novel situation. (shrink)
This paper presents the findings of a study of purchasing and supply management professionals in India conducted to identify the key ethical issues they face in carrying out their work related responsibilities as well as to determine the extent to which various factors appear to be helpful or to present challenges to their efforts to act ethically in the course of their work. The Indian findings are then compared to those for studies conducted among purchasing and supply management professionals in (...) the United States, United Kingdom and Canada. Key findings for the four studies are summarized and implications for business and the professions are presented. (shrink)
The ‘cultural turn’ in social thought, and the rise of interpretive modes of social analysis, have raised the issue of how social criticism can legitimately be undertaken given the central role of actors’ understandings in constituting social reality. In this article I examine this issue by exploring debates around Winch’s interpretive approach. I suggest that Winch’s arguments usefully identify problems with external criticism, that is, criticism that attempts to contrast actors’ beliefs with the social world as it really is. However, (...) I also argue that Winch’s Wittgensteinian account of rule-following, on a plausible interpretation, places excessively strong restrictions on the possibility of internal criticism. In order to show the problems with such restrictions, I critically appraise two accounts of social criticism that are compatible with Winch’s arguments, those of Pleasants and Giddens, arguing that neither offers a satisfactory analysis. I then argue that if a viable notion of internal criticism is to be established Winch’s account of rule-following needs to be rejected. Having briefly offered an alternative, I suggest that it allows a more convincing conception of internal criticism, in which the understandings of actors can be criticized on the basis of their internal contradictions. The article then attempts to meet a possible objection to this position: that the logical judgements of contradiction and coherence required for immanent critique are not cross-culturally valid. I claim that such judgements are generally valid, and develop an argument for this position based on a critique of Lukes’s arguments. (shrink)
This article critically appraises David Bloor’s recent attempts to refute criticisms levelled at the Strong Programme’s social constructionist approach to scientific knowledge. Bloor has tried to argue, contrary to some critics, that the Strong Programme is not idealist in character, and it does not involve a challenge to the credibility of scientific knowledge. I argue that Bloor’s attempt to deflect the charge of idealism, which calls on the self-referential theory of social institutions, is partially successful. However, I suggest that although (...) the Strong Programme should not be accused of ‘strong idealism’, it is still vulnerable to the criticism that it entails a form of ‘weak idealism’. The article moves on to argue that, contrary to Bloor, constructionist approaches do challenge the credibility of the scientific knowledge that they analyse. I conclude the article by arguing that sociological analyses of scientific knowledge can be conducted without the weak idealism and the credibility-challenging assumptions of the Strong Programme approach.Keywords: Strong Programme; David Bloor; Social constructionism; Idealism; Self-reference; Scientific credibility. (shrink)
This article explores the difficulties raised for social scientific investigation by the absence of experiment, critically reviewing realist responses to the problem such as those offered by Bhaskar, Collier and Sayer. It suggests that realist arguments for a shift from prediction to explanation, the use of abstraction, and reliance upon interpretive forms of investigation fail to demonstrate that these approaches compensate for the lack of experimental control. Instead, it is argued that the search for regularities, when suitably conceived, provides the (...) best alternative to experiment for the social sciences. (shrink)
Philosophy of education is regarded as an art of hermeneutics that integrates a theory of mimesis in its understanding of the educational transmission. The idea of the master is reconsidered in this perspective in order to overcome the old opposition between classicism and romanticism. In that way the author attempts to respond to the question: What is the secret to pedagogically sound education?
This article considers the `Strong Programme' account of scientific knowledge from a fresh perspective. It argues that insufficient attention has been paid to the Strong Programme's monistic intent, that is, its aim to unify considerations of instrumental adequacy and social interests in explanations of the development of scientific knowledge. Although sharing the judgment of many critics that the Strong Programme approach is flawed, the article diverges from standard criticisms by suggesting that the best alternative is not a dualistic framework but (...) a more adequate monistic approach. Key Words: Strong Programme interests monism finitism classification. (shrink)
Structure/agency theories presuppose that there is a unity to structure that distinguishes it from the (potential) diversity of agents' responses. In doing so they formally divide the robust social processes shaping the social world (structure) from contingent agential variation (agency). In this article we question this division by critically evaluating its application to the concept of role in critical realism and structural functionalism. We argue that Archer, Elder-Vass and Parsons all mistakenly understand a role to have a singular structural definition (...) which agents may then diverge from. Drawing on the work of Gross, Mason and McEachern we argue instead that if agents diverge in their conceptions of what role incumbents should do, there is no single role definition, but rather a range of diverse role-expectations. Acknowledging this can help us to understand variation in role behaviour, with different incumbents potentially being more exposed to some expectations than others. We argue that considering roles in this way can extend the ability of social scientists to identify robust social processes shaping role behaviour and decrease the extent to which they need to call on contingent factors in such explanations. (shrink)
There has always been a significant element of trust when we look at an image of something we have not seen, above all when it looks naturalistic and convincing. Illustrators often employ naturalistic tricks in the service of the “rhetoric of reality.” The case study is the Australian Duck-Billed Platypus, which stretched credibility when it was first discovered, resembling an artificially confected monster. The first scientific account, by George Shaw in T he Naturalist’s Miscellany in 1799, is a masterpiece of (...) wonder and scepticism in which he finally convinces himself and us of the reality of the strange beast. However, how many of us have seen a real one? (shrink)
Museums and their practices—especially those involving collection, curation and exhibition—generate a host of philosophical questions. Such questions are not limited to the domains of ethics and aesthetics, but go further into the domains of metaphysics, epistemology and philosophy of religion. Despite the prominence of museums as public institutions, they have until recently received surprisingly little scrutiny from philosophers in the Anglo-American tradition. By bringing together contributions from philosophers with backgrounds in a range of traditional areas of philosophy, this volume demonstrates (...) how their work can enhance our understanding of museums and shed light on the philosophical questions raised by museum practices. Many of the essays in this volume make the case that the philosophy of museums is of vital concern, not only to those philosophers at work in the emerging field but also to practitioners within the museum world and to anyone who enjoys visiting museums. (shrink)
Richard Heck has contested my argument that the equation of the meaning of a sentence with its truth-condition implies deflationism, on the ground that the argument does not go through if truth-conditions are understood, in Davidson's style, to be stated by T-sentences. My reply is that Davidsonian theories of meaning do not equate the meaning of a sentence with its truth-condition, and thus that Heck's point does not actually obstruct my argument.