Our concept of choice is integral to the way we understand others and ourselves, especially when considering ourselves as free and responsible agents. Despite the importance of this concept, there has been little empirical work on it. In this paper we report four experiments that provide evidence for two concepts of choice—namely, a concept of choice that is operative in the phrase having a choice and another that is operative in the phrase making a choice. The experiments indicate that the (...) two concepts of choice can be differentiated from each other on the basis of the kind of alternatives to which each is sensitive. The results indicate that the folk concept of choice is more nuanced than has been assumed. This new, empirically informed understanding of the folk concept of choice has important implications for debates concerning free will, responsibility, and other debates spanning psychology and philosophy. -/- Specifically, 'having a choice' appears to require genuinely open alternatives, or alternative possibilities that are actually realizable, while 'making a choice' appears to only require psychological open alternatives, or the ability to consider alternatives independent of whether these alternatives are actually realizable. We argue that these findings are relevant to the free will debate because choice is central to the folk concept of free will and many philosophical analysis of free will. The kinds of alternatives required for having a choice appear to be incompatibilist in nature, while the kinds of alternatives required for making a choice appear to be compatibilist in nature. If free will requires having choices, then this is perhaps evidence against compatibilism. If free will requires making choices, then this is perhaps evidence in favor of--or at least consistent with--compatibilism. (shrink)
Wittgenstein is often associated with different forms of relativism. However, there is ambiguity and controversy about whether he defended relativistic views or not. This paper seeks to clarify this issue by disambiguating the notion of relativism and examining Wittgenstein's relevant texts in that light.
Paul O'Grady clearly distinguishes five main kinds: relativism about truth, relativism about logic, ontological relativism, epistemological relativism, and, finally, relativism about rationality. In each case he shows what makes a position relativist and how it differs from a sceptical or pluralist position. He ends by presenting a thoroughly integrated position that rejects some forms while defending others. The book includes discussion of recent work by Putnam, Devitt, Searle, Priest, and Quine and offers a succinct survey of contemporary debates. This lively (...) discussion of the issue will be welcome reading for all those involved in philosophical inquiry. (shrink)
There is a general consensus that Quine's assault on analyticity and verificationism in `Two Dogma of Empiricism' has been successful and that Carnap's philosophical position has been vanquished. This paper so characterises Carnap's position that it escapes Quine's criticisms. It shows that the disagreement is not a first order dispute about analyticity or verificationism, but rather a deeper dispute about philosophical method.
Proponents of two axioms of biological evolutionary theory have attempted to find justification by reference to nonequilibrium thermodynamics. One states that biological systems and their evolutionary diversification are physically improbable states and transitions, resulting from a selective process; the other asserts that there is an historically constrained inherent directionality in evolutionary dynamics, independent of natural selection, which exerts a self-organizing influence. The first, the Axiom of Improbability, is shown to be nonhistorical and thus, for a theory of change through time, (...) acausal. Its perception of the improbability of living states is at least partially an artifact of closed system thinking. The second, the Axiom of Historically Determined Inherent Directionality, is supported evidentially and has an explicit historical component. Historically constrained dynamic populations are inherently nonequilibrium systems. It is argued that living, evolving systems, when considered to be historically constrained nonequilibrium systems, do not appear improbable at all. Thus, the two axioms are not compatible. Instead, the Axiom of Improbability is considered to result from an unjustified attempt to extend the contingent proximal actions of natural selection into the area of historical, causal explanations. It is thus denied axiomatic status, and the effects of natural selection are subsumed as an additional level of constraint in an evolutionary theory derived from the Axiom of Historically Determined Inherent Directionality. (shrink)
There is a general presumption that epistemology does not have anything to do with wellbeing. In this paper I challenge these assumption, by examining the aftermath of the Gettier examples, the debate between internalism and externalism and the rise of virtue epistemology. In focusing on the epistemic agent as the locus of normativity, virtue epistemology allows one to ask questions about epistemic goods and their relationship to other kinds of good, including the good of the agent. Specifically it is argued (...) that emotion has a positive role to play in epistemology, an example from Aquinas is used to illustrate this and to illustrate the different kinds of good involved in cognition. (shrink)
The dictionary shows philosophers at their best (and their worst), at their most perverse and their most elegant. Organised by philosopher, and indexed by thought, concept and phrase, it enables readers to discover who said what, and what was said by whom. Over 300 philosophers are represented, from Aristotle to Zeno, including Einstein, Aquinas, Sartre and De Beauvoir, and the quotations range from short cryptic phrases to longer statements. This Dictionary of Philosophical Quotations d will not change your life. It (...) will change your mind. (shrink)
In this paper, I examine the debate about existence between deflationist analytic accounts and the ‘thicker’ conception used by Aquinas when speaking of esse. I argue that the way one evaluates the debate will depend on background philosophical assumptions and that reflection on those assumptions could constitute an account of theoretical wisdom.
Aquinas’s actual response to a naturalistic challenge at ST I.2.3 is one which most naturalists would find unimpressive. However, I shall argue that there is a stronger response latent in his philosophical system. I take Quine as an example of a methodological naturalist, examine the roots of his position and look at two critical responses to his views (those of BonJour and Boghossian). If one adjusts some of the problematical aspects of their responses and establishes a hybrid position on the (...) epistemology and metaphysics of an antinaturalistic stance, it turns out to be the position Aquinas himself takes on meaning and knowledge. (shrink)
A seismic velocity model is one of the products generated from a seismic imaging project. Recent advances in velocity modeling techniques have significantly improved the quality of seismic velocity data. Yet, the use of seismic velocity to guide geologic interpretations is still limited. This is mainly due to the overwhelming effect of compaction and the low-resolution nature of the seismic velocity model. Geologic boundaries and anomalies are often difficult to visualize from seismic velocity data alone. A new attribute called the (...) trend-match attribute is proposed to reveal changes in velocity compaction trends from seismic velocity. The attribute is computed by comparing seismic velocity data with the regional velocity depth trends defined for different lithofacies using wells. We applied the trend-match attribute on several case studies to facilitate stratigraphic interpretation, horizon mapping, and erosion thickness estimation. Integration of the trend-match attribute volume with migrated seismic images can further constrain the geologic and stratigraphic interpretation at a regional scale. (shrink)
Paul Gregory’s careful and insightful response to “Camap and Two Dogmas of Empiricism” highlights a number of points which were underdeveloped in that paper. I think that he has brought into relief a central issue between Camap and Quine by supplying a crucial distinction. However I still maintain that Quine’s assault is less than successful and that Gregory’s further analysis of the debate sheds light on why this is so.
This article outlines the activities of the research network ‘Festival Performance as a State of Encounter’, which was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council as part of the Beyond Text strategic programme. The network was formulated in 2008, and a range of different events were organized over the course of two years to explore the concept of relational performance within the context of popular music festivals. One of the central aims of the network was to bring into dialogue (...) scholars from a range of disciplines within the performing arts and creative industries and industry professionals and practitioners working on the festival circuit. The network provided a meeting place for industry–academy collaboration that prompted genuine exchange and knowledge transfer across sectors and challenged assumptions about the role and value of expertise and experience in relation to research processes. The article examines the notion of encounter and co-creation not only as a method of practice in festival performance but also as a methodology for facilitating fruitful conversation and dynamic interaction between stakeholders with a shared interest in understanding the deep impact of embodied participation in festival spaces. (shrink)
This paper compares arguments from Aquinas and Nagarjuna on contingency and necessity, examining the ways in which they arrive at opposed positions. However, neither set of arguments is unproblematical and both require appeal to further positions to support them. A curious parallelism begins to emerge between the positions when seen with their background assumptions, despite their obvious differences.
Wisdom has not been widely discussed in analytical epistemology. An interesting recent analysis comes from Stephen Grimm who argues that wisdom requires knowledge and that the traditional dichotomy between theoretical and practical wisdom doesn’t hold. I note a tension between these aspects of his work. He wishes to maintain that traditional exemplars of wisdom may still be termed ‘wise’ by his theory. But his knowledge condition seems to require that only a subset of those who hold conflicting views are really (...) wise. I consider a number of possible responses to this and endorse a non-indexical contextualist approach which will allow the knowledge condition and also allow the traditional exemplars to be termed ‘wise’. (shrink)