A school of idealism: meditatio laici, by J. Cappon.--Beati possidentes, by R. M. Wenley.--Moral validity: a study in Platonism, by R. C. Lodge.--Plato and the poet's eidōla, by A. S. Ferguson.--Some reflections on Aristotle's theory of tragedy, by G. S. Brett.--The function of the phantasm in St. Thomas Aquinas, by H. Carr.--The development of the psychology of Maine de Biran, by N. J. Symons.--A plea for eclecticism, by H. W. Wright.--Some present-day tendencies in philosophy, by J. M. MacEachran.--Evolution and personality, (...) J. G. Hume.--Emergent realism, by J. Muirhead.--Bibliography of publications by Dr. John Watson (p. 343-346). (shrink)
In Think, Issue 7, Brendan Larvor took the Archbishop of Canterbury to task for suggesting that atheism and humanism should not be taught in schools alongside the major faiths. Here, Brenda Watson defends the Archbishop's position.
Paul Kurtz's article ‘Morality is natural’ in THINK 15 was most stimulating. It left me, however, somewhat dissatisfied. Whilst he is clearly right that that there is a fund of moral wisdom that has been developed by humankind, I question whether distancing morality from religion is the important priority for us today.
Laurence Peddle's article ‘the Meaning and the Mystery of Life’ poses fascinating questions concerning the purpose or non-purpose of life and the interpretation of experience. My response questions his use of terms such as meaning, mystery and life-after-death, and his appeal to Hume on personal identity. Reason per se cannot take us all the way, nevertheless I enumerate reasons for caution in dismissing other people's self-understanding. The link between interpretation of experience and assumptions already held argues strongly for accepting the (...) limits to human knowledge, thus enabling an openness which avoids premature foreclosure whether atheistic or religious. (shrink)
The Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal Test is one of the oldest, most frequently used, multiple-choice critical-thinking tests on the market in business, government, and legal settings for purposes of hiring and promotion. I demonstrate, however, that the test has serious construct-validity issues, stemming primarily from its ambiguous, unclear, misleading, and sometimes mysterious instructions, which have remained unaltered for decades. Erroneously scored items further diminish the test’s validity. As a result, having enhanced knowledge of formal and informal logic could well (...) result in test subjects receiving lower scores on the test. That’s not how things should work for a CT assessment test. (shrink)
L'histoire de la rhétorique s'apparente à une peau de chagrin: d'une préoccupation pour les mots et les idées en général, elle a progressivement mis l'accent sur les mots, puis sur les tropes et figures, puis sur la métaphore et la métonymie, puis sur la seule métaphore. Mais l'intérêt pour les mots a refait surface dans des disciplines comme la linguistique et la stylistique. Et l'intérêt pour les idées caractérise l'oeuvre de Ch. Perelman, comme en témoigne, entre autres, son Traité de (...) l'argumentation. On soutient que celui-ci s'inscrit dans le champ d'une théorie générale des discours. (shrink)
In ancient times in our country, Wang Ch'ung was an eminent materialist and a brilliant atheist, a progressive thinker who opposed the orthodox feudal thought. This has gone basically unquestioned. This year the February 21 issue of Kuang-ming jih-pao printed in its philosophy section an article by Comrade T'ung Mo-an, "Is Wang Ch'ung a Peasant Class Thinker?" The article is an evaluation completely denying this. T'ung believes that the purpose of Wang Ch'ung's works was "to uphold the rule of the (...) Han," "ardently and unconditionally to sing the praises of the Han ruler and court," "to make sacred the rule of the Han," "to get the populace to live quietly, forever in a servile position," and "to view inimically and to slander peasant uprisings." "Wang Ch'ung was an orthodox thinker of the landlord class," "a thinker produced in the interests of the rule of the landlord class who confirmed the feudal orthodoxy." Although I myself am not praising Wang Ch'ung as a peasant class thinker or denying that in Wang Ch'ung's thought there are negative elements, I am completely unable to agree with the basic viewpoint that the author puts forward. (shrink)
Having read the works of Wang Ch'ung [A.D. 27-c. 100], I realized that they need to be recapitulated. Here I shall evaluate Wang Ch'ung and his thought and present what I feel to be the real significance that Wang Ch'ung's thought still has today.
Richard Watson maintains that deep ecology suffers from an internal contradiction and should therefore be rejected. Watson contends that deep ecology claims to be non-anthropocentric while at the same time is committed to setting humans apart from nature, which is inherently anthropocentric. I argue that Watson’s objection arises out of a fundamental misunderstanding of how deep ecologist’s conceive of the ‘Self.’ Drawing on resources from Buddhism, I offer an understanding of the ‘Self’ that is fully consistent with (...) deep ecology, and does not lead to the anthropocentric contradiction that Watson identifies. The paper will proceed as follows: First, I articulate Watson’s objection, and briefly discuss the traditional deep ecology position. Next, I turn to a discussion of the ‘Self’ and show that there are conceptions of human nature that are not separate from ‘Nature.’ It will thus be shown that deep ecology is not inconsistent and need not be rejected. (shrink)
Machine learning platforms have emerged as a new promissory technology that some argue will revolutionize work practices across a broad range of professions, including medical care. During the past few years, IBM has been testing its Watson for Oncology platform at several oncology departments around the world. Published reports, news stories, as well as our own empirical research show that in some cases, the levels of concordance over recommended treatment protocols between the platform and human oncologists have been quite (...) low. Other studies supported by IBM claim concordance rates as high as 96%. We use the Watson for Oncology case to examine the practice of using concordance levels between tumor boards and a machine learning decision-support system as a form of evidence. We address a challenge related to the epistemic authority between oncologists on tumor boards and the Watson Oncology platform by arguing that the use of concordance levels as a form of evidence of quality or trustworthiness is problematic. Although the platform provides links to the literature from which it draws its conclusion, it obfuscates the scoring criteria that it uses to value some studies over others. In other words, the platform “black boxes” the values that are coded into its scoring system. (shrink)
We develop a general framework for forcing with coherent adequate sets on [Formula: see text] as side conditions, where [Formula: see text] is a cardinal of uncountable cofinality. We describe a class of forcing posets which we call coherent adequate type forcings. The main theorem of the paper is that any coherent adequate type forcing preserves CH. We show that there exists a forcing poset for adding a club subset of [Formula: see text] with finite conditions while preserving CH, solving (...) a problem of Friedman [Forcing with finite conditions, in Set Theory: Centre de Recerca Matemática, Barcelona, 2003–2004, Trends in Mathematics, pp. 285–295.]. (shrink)
One of the interpretive devices that Ch'eng-kuan (澄 觀) is famous for having employed to distill the essence of the vast Mahāvaipulya Buddhāvataṃsaka Sūtra (Tafang-kuang fo-hua-yen ching 《大方廣佛華嚴經》 was a series of variations on the contemplative theme (kuan-men 觀門) of the complete interfusion (yüan-jung 圓融) of the scripture's three chief protagonists (san-sheng 三聖) ── the Buddha Vairocana (Pi-lu-che-na 毘盧遮那) and the bodhisattvas Mañjuśrī (Wen-shu-shih-li 文殊師利) and Samantabhadra (P'u-hsien 普賢). By aligning these three powerful sacred persons with a number of philosophical (...) categories that he believed to be central to the sūtra ── categories like "cause" (yin 因 ), "fruition" (kuo 果 ), "faith" (hsin 信 ), "understanding" (chieh 解), "insight" (chih 智), "practice" (hsing 行), "principle" (li 理), etc. ── he provided a focal point at which the rich and vivid meditative and liturgical lives of Hua-yen devotees could be made to converge with their philosophical reflections. -/- Although Ch'eng-kuan invoked this device in several of his writings, his most concerted development of it is a short essay entitled San-sheng yüan-jung kuan-men, which appears to have been written relatively late in his long career. Like many important Hua-yen texts, this essay seems to have been lost in China not long after its author's death. However, it was preserved in Korea and Japan and from the latter country was reintroduced to China in the last years of nineteenth century. Neither in China nor in the West has it yet been adequately studied. -/- The core of the present article is a critical edition of the Chinese text of the essay based on a careful comparison of all available versions and presented together with a copiously annotated English translation. The edition translation are preceded by a brief interpretive introduction and followed by an appendix in which are given: a detailed discussion of the work's textual history, detailed accounts of its various editions, and descriptions of its several surviving paraphrases and commentaries. (shrink)
In this essay, I provide responses to the trenchant critical remarks of Michael McKenna, Matt Talbert, and Gary Watson on my book Responsibility from the Margins. In doing so, I provide some new thoughts on the nature of attributability, what work talk of "capacities" is doing in my tripartite, qualities of will theory of responsibility, and what the relation is between our attitudes and practices of holding others and ourselves responsible.
On September 18, 2019, the Cartesian scholar Richard A. Watson, known to his family, friends, and colleagues as "Red," passed away at the age of 88.watson was born in 1930 in new market, Iowa, where he met his wife Patty Jo in middle school. He went on to earn a Ph.D. in philosophy at the University of Iowa, studying under Richard H. Popkin. After a brief stint teaching at the University of Michigan, Watson spent most of his (...) career at Washington University in St. Louis, where Popkin also joined the faculty. Upon his retirement, Red moved to Missoula, Montana, but the final years of his life were spent in Arlington, Massachusetts.Red was a generation's leader in scholarship on early modern philosophy. He was among... (shrink)
Modern cognitive psychology presents itself as the revolutionary alternative to behaviorism, yet there are blatant continuities between modern cognitivism and the mechanistic kind of behaviorism that cognitivists have in mind, such as their commitment to methodological behaviorism, the stimulus–response schema, and the hypothetico-deductive method. Both mechanistic behaviorism and cognitive behaviorism remain trapped within the dualisms created by the traditional ontology of physical science—dualisms that, one way or another, exclude us from the "physical world." Darwinian theory, however, put us back into (...) nature. The Darwinian emphasis upon the mutuality of animal and environment was further developed by, among others, James, Dewey, and Mead. Although their functionalist approach to psychology was overtaken by Watson 's behaviorism, the principle of animal–environment dualism continued to figure within the work of Skinner and Gibson. For the clearest insights into the mutuality of organism and environment we need to set the clock back quite a few years and return to the work of Darwin and the early functionalist psychologists. (shrink)
This comparative study argues that both Aristotle and the Ch'eng-Chu School deny that a weak-willed person truly and clearly knows what is best at the time of action, but their analyses of a weak-willed person's knowledge are rather different. It is shown that both Aristotle and the Ch'eng-Chu School believe that practical knowledge presupposes repeatedly acting on it and thus that the defect of the weak-willed person's knowledge cannot be overcome by purely cognitive training.
In Winning Votes by Abusing Reason, Jamie Carlin Watson combines research from epistemology, political philosophy, psychology, and economics in constructing a sophisticated argument that challenges unspoken commitments held by those engaged in politics. Watson’s main focus is what he calls the ‘problem of political rhetoric’. He asks whether we can ever really learn anything from the testimony of politicians. He is not optimistic. Watson argues that political rhetoric is damaging to our reasoning faculties. He sees no solution (...) to this problem, and recommends that we focus on individual or local efforts to improve our reasoning. I outline the structure of Watson’s argument before noting two potential ways we might resist his conclusion. (shrink)
Galton and subsequent investigators find wide divergences in people's subjective reports of mental imagery. Such individual differences might be taken to explain the peculiarly irreconcilable disputes over the nature and cognitive significance of imagery which have periodically broken out among psychologists and philosophers. However, to so explain these disputes is itself to take a substantive and questionable position on the cognitive role of imagery. This article distinguishes three separable issues over which people can be "for" or "against" mental images. Conflation (...) of these issues can lead to theoretical differences being mistaken for experiential differences, even by theorists themselves. This is applied to the case of John B. Watson, who inaugurated a half-century of neglect of image psychology. Watson originally claimed to have vivid imagery; by 1913 he was denying the existence of images. This strange reversal, which made his behaviorism possible, is explicable as a "creative misconstrual" of Dunlap's "motor" theory of imagination. (shrink)
Justin D'Arms says that moral disapproval is more closely tied to anger than to the “empathic chill” effect I emphasized in Moral Sentimentalism, but I argue that anger is in several ways inappropriate or unsatisfactory as a basis for understanding disapproval. I go on to explain briefly why I think we need not share D'Arms's worries about the possibility of nonveridical empathy but then focus on what he says about the reference-fixing theory of moral terminology defended in Moral Sentimentalism. I (...) explain why I think his interpretations of my view—both at the Spindel Conference and subsequently—misunderstand the (Kripkean) character of that view. My reply to Lori Watson questions whether her criticisms of Moral Sentimentalism's account of morality are sufficiently sensitive to the self−other asymmetry that typifies so much of ordinary moral thinking. (shrink)
This article opens with general and historical remarks on philosophy of science's problems with the concept of discovery. Then, drawing upon simple examples of Watson's and Crick's non-philosophical usage, I characterize phrases of the type "x discovers y" semantically. It will subsequently be shown how widespread philosophical discussion on discovery violates the semantic constraints of phrases of the type "x discovers y." Then I provide a philosophical reconstruction of "x discovers y" that is in keeping with the "folk" notion (...) of discovery. The philosophical ingredients of this approach are taken from a certain aspect of action theory and from epistemological reliabilism. The approach draws upon the concept of superior action and connects this concept to progressive research. In contrast to normal actions, superior actions are primarily explained by competencies. This perspective includes reminders of what some nineteenth-century philosopher-scientists had advocated as a competence-oriented view on scientific research. Finally, this approach is applied to the case of Watson's and Crick's discovery. (shrink)
This paper provides a provisional examination of Rod Watson ''s work and contributions to EM/CA/MCA, in part through a critique of misrepresentations of his arguments in secondary accounts of his work. The form of these misrepresentations includes adumbration and traducement of his arguments. Focusing on the reflexivity of category and sequence and turn-generated categories, we suggest that his analytic position within ethnomethodological fields is unique and remarkable, yet largely unacknowledged. We argue that a re-examination of the body of (...) class='Hi'>Watson ''s work makes relevant explicit and appropriate acknowledgement of his contributions through his unconventional approach and his extension of prior works in novel and stimulating directions. (shrink)
Currently, the most influential accounts of personal autonomy, at least in the English-speaking world, focus on providing conditions under which agents can be said to exercise self-control. Two distinct accounts of personal autonomy have emerged in this tradition: firstly, hierarchical models grounded in the work of Harry Frankfurt; and secondly, systems division models most famously articulated by Gary Watson. In this paper, I will show the inadequacies of both of these models by exploring the problematic views of the self (...) and self-control underlying each model. I will suggest that the problems faced by these models stem from the fact that they endorse a problematic fragmentation of the self. (shrink)
In Issue 7 of Think, Brendan Larvor criticised the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, for suggesting that atheism and humanism ought not to be taught in schools alongside the religious faiths. In Issue 9, Brenda Watson defended the Archbishop's view. Here, Larvor replies to Watson. The numbers below refer to numbered points in Watson's piece.
This essay investigates the influences that led J.B. Watson to change from being a student in an introspectionist laboratory at Chicago to being the founder of systematic (or radical) behaviourism. Our focus is the crucial period, 1913-1914, when Watson struggled to give a convincing behaviourist account of mental imaging, which he considered to be the greatest obstacle to his behaviourist programme. We discuss in detail the evidence for and against the view that, at least eventually, Watson rejected (...) outright the very existence of mental images. We also discuss in detail whether or not Knight Dunlap was the crucial influence on his eventual rejection of mental images. Finally we consider whether Watson's rejection of mental images was bolstered by some personal incapacity as regards imaging or whether his rejection was more like a form of 'ideological blindness'. (shrink)
“This book isn’t a blueprint for a new conversation. It’s an explanation of why we need one, and an invitation to participate in moving that forward”, says Katie Watson in the introduction to her book Scarlet A: The Ethics, Law and Politics of Ordinary Abortion. She does herself a disservice with this; in many respects her text provides us with just that—a model for what a more productive discussion of how society responds to and organizes around the issue of (...) unwanted pregnancy might look like; a question that has remained contentious across the centuries and for which we may never have an ‘answer.’ It is precisely because perceptions of abortion are so hard to prise apart from our attitudes towards women... (shrink)
Are experience and stimulus necessarily alike? Wertheimer spoke of this as an “insidious and insistent belief”. By contrast, Watson devotes an entire book to the defense of the thesis that representation necessarily requires resemblance. I argue that this bold and important thesis is ambiguous between a historical and a systematic reading, and that in either one of these readings the thesis, for different reasons, will be found wanting. Second, a proper evaluation of it in either one of its possible (...) interpretations requires a careful analysis of the notion of resemblance. I proceed to supply some necessary distinctions and argue that, given such an analysis, Watson's thesis may be historically applicable only to ancient and medieval philosophy, while its systematic import is untenable. (shrink)
In Nos. 105 and 121 of the Kuang-ming Daily "Philosophical Supplement," there were two articles by Ch'ieh Ta-yu: "Some Opinions on the Problem of Determining the Object of Dialectical Logic" and "The Marxist Dialectical Method and Dialectical Logic." The first is quite general, while the second "elucidates the connections and differences" between dialectics and dialectical logic discussed in the first article. Almost all the basic points in both articles are erroneous. Actually, the author waves the banner of antidogmatism and expounds (...) a revisionist point of view. We will now refute his contentions. (shrink)
In this article, it is argued that Ch'oe Han-gi (1803-1877), a Korean Confucian scholar from the late Chosŏn, can be credited with finding the full philosophical significance of the notion of experience (kyŏnghŏm). At the same time, his philosophy of experience can be interpreted adequately in the context of not British empiricist but Confucian philosophical assumptions. There is both continuity and discontinuity in Ch'oe's relation to Confucian tradition. Unlike the Confucian traditionalist, he admitted that inherited knowledge and practice are potentially (...) fallible. Confucian tradition, though still reliable, becomes less important than the process of the world itself, in whose flux all experience must be repeatedly tested. For Ch'oe, humans imbued with configurative energy and with their capability for correlative thinking become skilled in experiencing the world directly without absolute dependence on past Confucian traditions. (shrink)
The article relates Ch'an Buddhism, to Western thought via the philosophy of Spinoza, in particular through the concept of substance. It shows that Spinoza abandoned this concept as a fundamental metaphysical one. The consequent reuse of ?substance? requires a re?examination of the concepts of property and identity. It is seen that Spinoza made this drastic break with Western tradition by experiencing egolessness, the psychological basis for his metaphysical moves. The move is illustrated by the development of quantum physics. Egolessness and (...) a rethinking of identity are basic to a feeling for, if not an understanding of, Ch'an Buddhism. (shrink)
The book entitled the Huang Ti nei ching [Canonical Works of Huang Ti] has two sections - the "Su Wen" section and the "Ling Shu" section - and each section contains eighty-one articles. It was written by several authors in different historical periods. According to historical records and scholars' studies of the content and context of the book, we can roughly say that it was written in the period between the late years of the Warring States era and the early (...) years of the Eastern Han dynasty. Seven articles in the "Su Wen" section were materials from an "older version" and were merged into the book by Wang Fing in the Tang dynasty. They were probably written by scholars in the Eastern Han period or a little later. The two articles on acupuncture and pathology have been proved forgeries made in the Tang-Sung period. They should not have been included in the book because they contain more idealist dregs than do the other articles. (shrink)
This paper analyzes the kind of historical understanding presupposed in the writing of classical Chinese Ch'an Buddhist "transmission" narratives and places this historical understanding into comparative juxtaposition with modern Western historiographic practice. It finds that fundamental to Chinese Ch'an historical awareness are genealogical metaphors structuring historical time and meaning in terms of generations of family relations and the practices of inheritance. These metaphors link the Ch'an historian to the texts of historical study in ways that contrast with the posture of (...) modern historians. The essay outlines four basic differences between the self-understanding presupposed in Ch'an Buddhist historical writing and that assumed in modern historical research and concludes by suggesting how contemporary historical thinking might benefit from reflection on these differences. (shrink)