Recent experimental research has revealed surprising patterns in people's intuitions about free will and moral responsibility. One limitation of this research, however, is that it has been conducted exclusively on people from Western cultures. The present paper extends previous research by presenting a cross-cultural study examining intuitions about free will and moral responsibility in subjects from the United States, Hong Kong, India and Colombia. The results revealed a striking degree of cross-cultural convergence. In all four cultural groups, the majority of (...) participants said that (a) our universe is indeterministic and (b) moral responsibility is not compatible with determinism. (shrink)
These essays, as the editor has very aptly put it, indeed “provide insights into both Indian philosophy and Mohanty—Indian philosophy via Mohanty and Mohanty via and beyond Indian philosophy”. Though the articles were written on different occasions, I think there is a central idea around which colorful strands of thoughts are woven. Mohanty’s main preoccupation here is to build a bridge between tradition and modernity through hermeneutic reinterpretation. This is how in every epoch outstanding philosophers have advanced philosophical thinking by (...) examining issues from within the tradition. For like men, concepts and words too grow in course of time. So, shows Mohanty, Samkara, Gandhi, Aurobindo, K. C. Bhattachryya, N. V. Banerjee, B. K. Matilal, P. K. Mukhopadhyay—all were engaged in this exercise in their own way, at their own times; only the tools of analysis were different in each case. (shrink)
1. Many philosophers, including the later Wittgenstein, have concerned themselves with the question ‘What is philosophy?’ In this paper I shall say some things about the activity of philosophizing. What I shall say is not new or revealing; none the less, it might be worth saying what I do say. For philosophers, especially if they are professionally occupied with their subject, sometimes overlook some interesting, and some human, aspects of their profession.
I shall discuss what I have chosen to call the phenomenon of ‘intellectual robotry’. Intellectual robotry is a disease which is manifested in various different ways by some intellectuals, though not by all. What do I mean by ‘intellectual robotry’? I mean, among other things, a habitual indulgence in clever words for their own sake, a fixation about the potency of arguments and a sort of involved commitment to certain fashionable ideologies. One of the main characteristics of intellectual robotry is (...) that the practitioner of it invariably loses sight of the person he is talking to, or allegedly talking to. He, the intellectual, is intent on pursuing his own momentum of metaphysical or ideological or political or whatever talk because he believes he has something rather important to say, but as he talks—you can almost see it in his or her eyes—he is no longer talking to a person. (shrink)
There are many people in the world who want to be Somebody. Let us describe someone as Somebody who comes to believe that, in one or more respects, he or she is a special or significant person and who succeeds, through whatever means, in acquiring some sort of reputation and some sort of fame. People want to become Somebody because they believe that unless they succeed in that respect they will turn out to be a mere mediocrity, or worse still, (...) to be thought of as a mere mediocrity. People want to leave some sort of mark in this world before they die. They do not want their passage through this world to be utterly ineffectual. This, I think, is the seed from which the ideal of being Somebody emerges. (shrink)
This provocative but persuasive book is essentially a radical attack upon the Humean conception of causality and the presentation and defense of a counter-theory, closer to everyday experience and pre-Humean traditional views. As formulated by empiricist philosophers, the Humean approach depends on two basic postulates. The philosophical analysis of any non-empirical concept must be a formal explication; any residue elements have to be accounted for in terms of their psychological origins. The world as experienced can be conceived adequately as a (...) logically independent system of things or flux of events, without the unwarranted assumption that individuals persist diachronically. As the grounds for undermining these assumptions, the authors develop a conception of causes as "powerful particulars," i.e., things which have both a nature and powers. So long as the nature remains unchanged the agent in question will continue to behave in this fashion with a natural necessity, stemming from the individual’s nature and specific powers. The opening chapter discusses the problem of conceptual and natural necessity—as distinct from logical necessity which alone is allowed by the Humean empiricists. Natural necessity is the mark of the relationship between real causes and their respective effects, whereas conceptual necessity characterizes the way our statements about such are themselves related. Later the irreducibility of natural necessity is emphasized and its differences from logical entailment spelled out. Chapter two takes up the subject of the "regularity theory and its allies." Characteristic of such are two claims: the empirical content of a causal-relationship statement is exhausted by the actual or hypothetical regularity between independent entities, and the necessity ordinarily attributed to causal production is an illusion, to be accounted for in various ways. Subsequent chapters are devoted to assaulting the pillars of the Humean notion either directly or indirectly through an illuminating and attractive account of their own theory of nature, causal powers, and natural necessity. The final chapter, entitled "Fields of Potential," indulges in speculation about the nature of ultimate entities on the basis of an extended generalization of the notion of the powerful individual, and concludes with a brief account of the historical antecedents of Faraday’s modern field theory and the metaphysical implications of a generalized field theory.—A.B.W. (shrink)
This book is a study of the second-edition version of the 'Transcendental Deduction', which is one of the most important and obscure sections of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. By way of a close analysis of the B-Deduction, Adam Dickerson makes the distinctive claim that the Deduction is crucially concerned with the problem of making intelligible the unity possessed by complex representations - a problem that is the representationalist parallel of the semantic problem of the unity of the proposition. Along (...) the way he discusses most of the key themes in Kant's theory of knowledge, including the nature of thought and representation, the notion of objectivity, and the way in which the mind structures our experience of the world. (shrink)
A highly ordered universe is described in terms of neutrino and electrino alone as basic particles, and length and time alone as dimensional units. New theories are obtained of particles, nuclides, atomic spectra, general relativity, and gravitation.
The essence of Japanese art lies in the peculiar character of the people and the influence of "life-affirming" Zen. Painting, poetry, and even the tea ceremony are "ways" to the Absolute Nothing. The aesthetic qualities of Japanese art are "limitlessness," "unfinishedness," and naturalness.--A. B.
This volume begins a series in which the editor intends to do for sociologists what Schilpp has done for philosophers. Sorokin as sociologist, philosopher, anthropologist, sexologist, and political theorist is the topic of the critical essays by international experts in these fields. Sorokin himself contributes a sociological autobiography and a "Reply to My Critics."--A. B. D.
Ii is a well-known fact that the men of the Macedonian phalanx under Philip and Alexander were known collectively asor ‘foot companions’. Our first reference to the name comes from Demosthenes, who in his second Olynthiac tries unconvincingly to disparage the fighting qualities of Philip's mercenaries andDemosthenes adds no explanation, and it was left to commentators and lexicographers to unearth a relevant fragment from thePhilippicaof Anaximenes of Lampsacus.
A bi-lingual edition of poems and a "free philosophical treatise" by a poet-logician who is now imprisoned somewhere in Russia. In this choppy and compressed treatise, written hours before he was arrested, the writer discusses some pseudo-problems of philosophy, argues against the principle of excluded middle, and states the real problem of philosophy as being the relationship between the subconscious and consciousness.--A. B. D.
Concentrating on the thought of Canada's major scientists, philosophers, and clerics - men such as William Dawson and Daniel Wilson, John Watson and W.D. LeSeur, G.M. Grant and Salem Bland - A Disciplined Intelligence begins by reconstructing the central strands of intellectual and moral orthodoxy prevalent in Anglo-Canadian colleges on the eve of the Darwinian revolution. These include Scottish common sense philosophy and the natural theology of William Paley. The destructive impact of evolutionary ideas on that orthodoxy and the major (...) exponents of the new forms of social evolution - Spencerian and Hegelian alike - are examined in detail. By the twentieth century the centre of Anglo-Canadian thought had been transformed by what had become a new, evolutionary orthodoxy. The legacy of this triumphant intellectual movement, British idealism, was immense. It helped to destroy Protestant denominationalism, provide the philosophical core of the social gospel movement, and constitute a major force behind the creation of the United Church of Canada. Throughout the nineteenth century and continuing into the twentieth, however, the moral imperative in Anglo-Canadian thought remained a constant presence. (shrink)
A textbook intended largely for beginning students in ethics. In a very interesting concluding chapter, Prof. Garnett presents and justifies his own view of the meaning of ethical terms and of the nature of moral principles. One section of the book is as unusual as it is valuable: it contains collections of opinions on such practical problems as marriage and the family, right of property, and war.--J. A. B.
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