David Miller elegantly and provocatively reformulates critical rationalism—the revolutionary approach to epistemology advocated by Karl Popper—by answering its most important critics. He argues for an approach to rationality freed from the debilitating authoritarian dependence on reasons and justification. "Miller presents a particularly useful and stimulating account of critical rationalism. His work is both interesting and controversial... of interest to anyone with concerns in epistemology or the philosophy of science." —Canadian Philosophical Reviews.
Remarks to the effect that a correct answer depends upon a correct question —that from a misleading question there can result only a misleading answer—are common today. In fact, one might suspect that such common concentration on finding the right questions has something to do with what seems to be an uncommon lack of answers. This concentration on the importance of asking the right questions can be applied to the interpretation of biblical literature. For here, certainly, the questions asked are (...) often decisive. They guide the inquiry by setting the terms of the search and, in this sense, they determine at least the kind of answers that will be given. Further, they often disclose the presuppositions with which one is working. (shrink)
In this article, I respond to David McIvor’s and Lars Rensmann’s discussion of my recent book, The Politics of Repressed Guilt: The Tragedy of Austrian Silence (2018, Edinburgh University Press). Both invited me to clarify my use of Arendt in my conception of embodied reflective judgment. I argue for a stronger connection between judgment and emotions than Arendt because one can effectively shut down critical thinking if one uses defense mechanisms to repress feelings of guilt. In response to McIvor, (...) I discuss the idea of the “subject-in-outline” and “embodied reflective spaces” to overcome the guilt/defense complex to engender a reparative politics of justice. Finally, in response to Rensmann, I point out that the lingering culture of repressed guilt helps us explain the general conditions that contributed to the rise of the far and extremist right in Austria, which I develop further in my new book Analyzing the Far Right. (shrink)
David Miller is the foremost exponent of the purist critical rationalist doctrine and here presents his mature views, discussing the role that logic and argument play in the growth of knowledge, criticizing the common understanding of argument as an instrument of justification, persuasion or discovery and instead advocating the critical rationalist view that only criticism matters. Miller patiently and thoroughly undoes the damage done by those writers who attack critical rationalism by invoking the sterile mythology of induction and justification (...) that it seeks to sweep away. In addition his new material on the debate on verisimilitude is essential reading for all working in this field. (shrink)
Historians Against History was first published in 1967. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions. Professor Noble examines the basic philosophy and writing of six American historians, George Bancroft, Frederick Jackson, Charles A. Beard, Carl Becker, Vernon Louis Parrington, and Daniel J. Boorstin, and finds in them a common tradition which he calls anti-historical. He argues that this viewpoint is founded in the (...) frontier interpretation of American history, that American historians have served as the chief political theorists and theologians of this country since 1830, and that their writings can be interpreted as Jeremiads designed to preserve a national covenant with nature. (shrink)
This paper articulates and defends a noncognitive, care-based view of identification, of what privileged psychic subset provides the source of self-determination in actions and attitudes. The author provides an extended analysis of "caring," and then applies it to debates between Frankfurtians, on the one hand, and Watsonians, on the other, about the nature of identification, then defends the view against objections.
Many philosophers have taken there to be an important relation between personal identity and several of our practical concerns (among them moral responsibility, compensation, and self-concern). I articulate four natural methodological assumptions made by those wanting to construct a theory of the relation between identity and practical concerns, and I point out powerful objections to each assumption, objections constituting serious methodological obstacles to the overall project. I then attempt to offer replies to each general objection in a way that leaves (...) the project intact, albeit significantly changed. Perhaps the most important change stems from the recognition that the practical concerns motivating investigation into personal identity turn out to be not univocal, as is typically thought, such that each of the different practical concerns may actually be related to personal identity in very different ways. (shrink)
In this paper, I attempt to show that the moral/conventional distinction simply cannot bear the sort of weight many theorists have placed on it for determining the moral and criminal responsibility of psychopaths. After revealing the fractured nature of the distinction, I go on to suggest how one aspect of it may remain relevant—in a way that has previously been unappreciated—to discussions of the responsibility of psychopaths. In particular, after offering an alternative explanation of the available data on psychopaths and (...) their judgments of various sorts of norm transgressions, I put forward a hybrid theory of their responsibility, suggesting how they might be criminally responsible, while nevertheless failing to meet the conditions for an important arena of moral responsibility. (shrink)
In our age of globalization, we need a theory of global management consistent with our common human nature. The place to begin in developing such a theory is the philosophy of traditional cultures. The article focuses on African philosophy and its fruitfulness for contributing to a theory of management consistent with African traditional cultures. It also looks briefly at the Confucian and Platonic-Aristotelian traditions and notes points of agreement with African traditions. It concludes that the needed theory of global management (...) should regard the firm as a community, not a collection of individuals, and should understand the purpose of management as promoting the common good. (shrink)
In this paper we study abstract elementary classes using infinitary logics and prove a number of results relating them. For example, if is an a.e.c. with Löwenheim–Skolem number κ then is closed under L∞,κ+-elementary equivalence. If κ=ω and has finite character then is closed under L∞,ω-elementary equivalence. Analogous results are established for . Galois types, saturation, and categoricity are also studied. We prove, for example, that if is finitary and λ-categorical for some infinite λ then there is some σLω1,ω such (...) that and contain precisely the same models of cardinality at least λ. (shrink)
While a number of classical pragmatists crafted their philosophies in conjunction with a careful study of Hegel's works, others saw their philosophies emerge in antagonism with proponents of Hegel. In this paper, we offer an instance of the latter case. Namely, we show that the impetus for Charles S. Peirce's early articulation and avowal of realism (the claim that some generals are real) was William Torrey Harris's claim that the formal laws of logic lacked universal validity. According to Harris, the (...) leading representative of Hegelism in the United States, the universal validity of the laws of logic rested on a nominalistic metaphysics that a Hegelian-realism showed to be false. In response to this charge, we articulate how Peirce's attempt to prove the universal validity of the laws of logic resulted in avowing a realism that differed from both nominalism and Harris's Hegelian-realism. (shrink)
The interest in and enthusiasm for urban agriculture in urban communities, the non-profit sector, and governmental institutions has grown exponentially over the past decade. Part of the appeal of UA is its potential to improve the civic health of a community, advancing what some call food democracy. Yet despite the increasing presence of the language of civic agriculture or food democracy, UA organizations and practitioners often still focus on practical, shorter-term projects in an effort both to increase local involvement and (...) to attract funding from groups focused on quantifiable deliverables. As such, it seems difficult to move beyond the rhetoric of food democracy towards significant forms of popular participation and deliberation within particular communities. In this paper we provide a theoretical framework—deep democracy—that helps to contextualize nascent attempts at civic agriculture or food democracy within a broader struggle for democratic practices and relationships. We argue that urban agriculture efforts are well positioned to help citizens cultivate lasting relationships across lines of difference and amidst significant power differentials—relationships that could form the basis of a community’s collective capacity to shape its future. We analyze the theory of deep democracy through recent experiences with UA in Denver, Colorado, and we identify ways in which UA can extend its reach and impact by focusing more consciously on its political or civic potential. (shrink)
Historically, nonclassical physics developed in three stages. First came a collection of ad hoc assumptions and then a cookbook of equations known as "quantum mechanics". The equations and their philosophical underpinnings were then collected into a model based on the mathematics of Hilbert space. From the Hilbert space model came the abstaction of "quantum logics". This book explores all three stages, but not in historical order. Instead, in an effort to illustrate how physics and abstract mathematics influence each other we (...) hop back and forth between a purely mathematical development of Hilbert space, and a physically motivated definition of a logic, partially linking the two throughout, and then bringing them together at the deepest level in the last two chapters. This book should be accessible to undergraduate and beginning graduate students in both mathematics and physics. The only strict prerequisites are calculus and linear algebra, but the level of mathematical sophistication assumes at least one or two intermediate courses, for example in mathematical analysis or advanced calculus. No background in physics is assumed. (shrink)
This paper argues that explicit reading instruction should be part of lower level undergraduate philosophy courses. Specifically, the paper makes the claim that it is necessary to provide the student with both the relevant background knowledge about a philosophical work and certain metacognitive skills that enrich the reading process and their ability to organize the content of a philosophical text with other aspects of knowledge. A “How to Read Philosophy” handout and student reactions to the handout are provided.
Within political theory there has been a recent surge of interest in the themes of loss, grief, and mourning. In this paper i address questions about the politics of mourning through a critical engagement of the work of Judith Butler. I argue that Butler's work remains tethered to an account of melancholic subjectivity derived from her early reading of Freud. These investments in melancholia compromise Butler's recent ethico-political interventions by obscuring the ambivalence of political engagements and the possibilities of achieving (...) and sustaining non-dogmatic identities. To overcome this impasse I argue for an alternative framing of mourning by turning to the psychoanalytic theory of Melanie Klein. An account of mourning that leans upon Klein's work cashes in on the ethical and political promises that are immanent yet unrealized in Butler's recent work while providing a new orientation for mourning in, and for, democratic politics. (shrink)
Two experiments using a realistic version of the selection task examined the relationship between participants' probability estimates of finding a counter example and their selections. Experiment 1 used everyday categories in the context of a scenario to determine whether or not the number of instances in a category affected the estimated probability of a counter-example. Experiment 2 modified the scenario in order to alter participants' estimates of finding a specific counter-example. Unlike Kirby 1994a, but consistent with his proposals, both studies (...) showed that probability estimates significantly predicted selection. Overall results point to the value of understanding selections in terms of their subjective expected utility. (shrink)
If we want to see justice done with regard to responsibility, then we must either (i) allow that people are never morally responsible, (iia) show that luck is not ubiquitous or at least that (iib) ubiquitous luck is not moral, or (iii) show that ascriptions of responsibility can retain justice despite the omnipresence of luck. This paper defends (iii); ascriptions of responsibility can be just even though luck is ubiquitous.
The principal thesis in this review-essay is that the key linguistic terms in Fichte’s Wissenschaftslehre especially have two main meanings that appear at first sight to be almost in contradiction or opposed to each other. The reader of Fichte therefore has to work hard to overcome any apparent conflicts in the “double sense” of his philosophical terminology. Accordingly, I argue that Fichte’s linguistic method and use of language should be seen as part of his chief philosophical method of synthesis, where (...) we have to carry out a similar procedure and attempt to reconcile opposites using the power of the imagination. This thesis is put forward by means of a number of practical examples and in the context of some critical reflections on the recently published Cambridge Companion to Fichte, eds. David James and Günter Zöller. Review essay published in Volume 15 (December, 2017) of the journal Revista de Estud(i)os sobre Fichte (ed. Emiliano Acosta). (shrink)
This is an in-depth study of J.G. Fichte’s philosophy of mathematics and theory of geometry. It investigates both the external formal and internal cognitive parallels between the axioms, intuitions and constructions of geometry and the scientific methodology of the Fichtean system of philosophy. In contrast to “ordinary” Euclidean geometry, in his Erlanger Logik of 1805 Fichte posits a model of an “ursprüngliche” or original geometry – that is to say, a synthetic and constructivistic conception grounded in ideal archetypal elements that (...) are grasped through geometrical or intelligible intuition. -/- Accordingly, this study classifies Fichte’s philosophy of mathematics as a whole as a species of mathematical Platonism or neo-Platonism, and concludes that the Wissenschaftslehre itself may be read as an attempt at a new philosophical mathesis, or “mathesis of the mind.” -/- “This work testifies to the author's exact and extensive knowledge of the Fichtean texts, as well as of the philosophical, scientific and historical contexts. Wood has opened up completely new paths for Fichte research, and examines with clarity and precision a domain that up to now has hardly been researched.” Professor Dr. Marco Ivaldo -/- “This study, written in a language distinguished by its limpidity and precision, and constantly supported by a close reading of the Fichtean texts and secondary literature, furnishes highly detailed and convincing demonstrations. In directly confronting the difficult historical relationship between the Wissenschaftslehre and mathematics, the author has broken new ground that is at once stimulating, decidedly innovative, and elegantly audacious.” Professor Dr. Emmanuel Cattin. (shrink)
One of the most important accomplishments of philosophical hermeneutics has been the recovery of forms of truth fully apart from those reached by method or presented in science. This is an achievement made possible, in part, by a conception of language as essentially disclosive rather than referential. In an encounter with a text, for example, the horizons of reader and text intersect in a linguistically mediated experience that can uncover new aspects of the self and its world. In the experience (...) of dialogue at its best, too, new truths are opened up in the shared linguistic space constituted by the participants in a conversation.Despite the importance of linguistic disclosure for philosophical hermeneutics... (shrink)
In this article, I argue that Wang Yangming'sNeo-Confucian religious beliefs can bewarranted, and that the rationality of hisreligious beliefs constitutes a significantdefeater for the rationality of Christianbelief on Alvin Plantinga's theory of warrant. I also question whether the notion of warrantas proper function can adequately account fortheories of religious knowledge in which theaffections play an integral role. Idemonstrate how a consideration of Wang'sepistemology reveals a difficulty forPlantinga's defense of the rationality ofChristian belief and highlights a limitation ofPlantinga's current conception of (...) warrant asproper function. (shrink)
Although business ethicists have theorized frequently about the virtues and vices of employee loyalty, the concept of loyalty remainsloosely defined. In this article, we argue that viewing loyalty as a cognitive phenomenon—an attitude that resides in the mind of theindividual—helps to clarify definitional inconsistencies, provides a finer-grained analysis of the concept, and sheds additional light on theethical implications of loyalty in organizations. Specifically, we adopt the psychological contract perspective to analyze loyalty’s cognitivedimensions, and treat loyalty as an individual-level construction of (...) perceived reciprocal obligations. Based upon this perspective, we present a three-tiered framework of loyalty that provides a psychologically informed definition of the concept, specifies the variety of obligation types that loyalty can imply, and anticipates the potential for asymmetrical loyalty configurations between employers and employees. We use the framework to articulate moral issues associated with both symmetrical and asymmetrical loyalty configurations and discuss the implications of the framework for theory and practice. (shrink)
Derek Parfit claims that, at certain times and places, the metaphysical units he labels *'selves" may be thought of as the morally significant units (I.e., the objects of moral concern) for such things as resource distribution, moral responsibility, commitments, etc. But his concept of the self is problematic in important respects, and it remains unclear just why and how this entity should count as a moral unit in the first place. In developing a view I call *'Moderate Reductionism," I attempt (...) to resolve these worries, first by offering a clearer, more consistent account of what the concept of *'self ' should involve, and second by arguing for why selves should indeed be viewed as moral (and prudential) units. I then defend this view in detail from both *'conservative" and *'extreme" objections. (shrink)