Harry Collins' central argument about experimental practice revolves around the thesis that facts can only be generated by good instruments but good instruments can only be recognized as such if they produce facts. This is what Collins calls the experimenters' regress. For Collins, scientific controversies cannot be closed by the ‘facts’ themselves because there are no formal criteria independent of the outcome of the experiment that scientists can apply to decide whether an experimental apparatus works properly or not.No one seems (...) to have noticed that the debate is in fact a rehearsal of the ancient philosophical debate about skepticism. The present article suggests that the way out of radical skepticism offered by the so-called mitigated skeptics is a solution to the problem of consensus formation in science.Keywords: Argumentation; Skepticism; Sociology of science; Philosophy of science; Scientific controversies. (shrink)
This is the one and only book by the pioneer of the identity theory of mind. The collection focuses on Place's philosophy of mind and his contributions to neighboring issues in metaphysics and epistemology. It includes an autobiographical essay as well as a recent paper on the function and neural location of consciousness.
These essays in political philosophy by T. M. Scanlon, written between 1969 and 1999, examine the standards by which social and political institutions should be justified and appraised. Scanlon explains how the powers of just institutions are limited by rights such as freedom of expression, and considers why these limits should be respected even when it seems that better results could be achieved by violating them. Other topics which are explored include voluntariness and consent, freedom of expression, tolerance, punishment, and (...) human rights. The collection includes the classic essays 'Preference and Urgency', 'A Theory of Freedom of Expression', and 'Contractualism and Utilitarianism', as well as a number of other essays that have hitherto not been easily accessible. It will be essential reading for all those studying these topics from the perspective of political philosophy, politics, and law. (shrink)
It is shown that the logical truth of instances of the T-schema is incompatible with the formal nature of logical truth. In particular, since the formality of logical truth entails that the set of logical truths is closed under substitution, the logical truth of T-schema instances entails that all sentences are logical truths.
In the 2005 Kitzmiller v Dover Area School Board case, a federal district court ruled that Intelligent Design creationism was not science, but a disguised religious view and that teaching it in public schools is unconstitutional. But creationists contend that it is illegitimate to distinguish science and religion, citing philosophers Quinn and especially Laudan, who had criticized a similar ruling in the 1981 McLean v. Arkansas creation-science case on the grounds that no necessary and sufficient demarcation criterion was possible and (...) that demarcation was a dead pseudo-problem. This article discusses problems with those conclusions and their application to the quite different reasoning between these two cases. Laudan focused too narrowly on the problem of demarcation as Popper defined it. Distinguishing science from religion was and remains an important conceptual issue with significant practical import, and philosophers who say there is no difference have lost touch with reality in a profound and perverse way. The Kitzmiller case did not rely on a strict demarcation criterion, but appealed only to a “ballpark” demarcation that identifies methodological naturalism as a “ground rule” of science. MN is shown to be a distinguishing feature of science both in explicit statements from scientific organizations and in actual practice. There is good reason to think that MN is shared as a tacit assumption among philosophers who emphasize other demarcation criteria and even by Laudan himself. (shrink)
What is a natural kind ? As we shall see, the concept of a natural kind has a long history. Many of the interesting doctrines can be detected in Aristotle, were revived by Locke and Leibniz, and have again become fashionable in recent years. Equally there has been agreement about certain paradigm examples: the kinds oak, stickleback and gold are natural kinds, and the kinds table, nation and banknote are not. Sadly agreement does not extend much further. It is impossible (...) to discover a single consistent doctrine in the literature, and different discussions focus on different doctrines without writers or readers being aware of the fact. In this paper I shall attempt to find a defensible distinction between natural and non-natural kinds. (shrink)
My purpose in what follows is not so much to defend the basic principle of utilitarianism as to indicate the form of it which seems most promising as a basic moral and political position. I shall take the principle of utility as offering a criterion for two different sorts of evaluation: first, the merits of acts of government, social policies, and social institutions, and secondly, the ultimate moral evaluation of the actions of individuals. I do not take it as implying (...) that the individual should live his life on the basis of constant evaluations of this sort. For there are different levels of decision making each with its appropriate criteria. For example, we each inevitably make many of our decisions from the point of view of our own personal self-fulfilment and this cannot regularly take a directly utilitarian form, nor should the utilitarian want it to do so. His claim is at most that we should sometimes review our life from the point of view of a kind of impersonal moral truth of a universalistic utilitarian character. (shrink)
Francesc Pujols és un del personatges més destacats de la cultura catalana del segle XX. Pensador heterodox, crític d’art, periodista, poeta... és l’altra cara del Noucentisme imperant. Si Eugeni d’Ors és el seny, Pujols és la rauxa que reivindica el pensament salvatge i la internacionalització de la cultura i de la filosofia catalanes.
J. T. Ismael's monograph is an ambitious contribution to metaphysics and the philosophy of language and mind. She tackles a philosophical question whose origin goes back to Descartes: What am I? The self is not a mere thing among things--but if so, what is it, and what is its relationship to the world?
Abstract I argue that the two primary motivations in the literature for positing seemings as sui generis mental states are insufficient to motivate this view. Because of this, epistemological views which attempt to put seemings to work don’t go far enough. It would be better to do the same work by appealing to what makes seeming talk true rather than simply appealing to seeming talk. Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-12 DOI 10.1007/s11406-012-9363-8 Authors T. Ryan Byerly, Department of Philosophy, Baylor (...) University, Waco, TX, USA Journal Philosophia Online ISSN 1574-9274 Print ISSN 0048-3893. (shrink)
It is fortunate for my purposes that English has the two words ‘almighty’ and ‘omnipotent’, and that apart from any stipulation by me the words have rather different associations and suggestions. ‘Almighty’ is the familiar word that comes in the creeds of the Church; ‘omnipotent’ is at home rather in formal theological discussions and controversies, e.g. about miracles and about the problem of evil. ‘Almighty’ derives by way of Latin ‘omnipotens’ from the Greek word ‘ pantokratōr ’; and both this (...) Greek word, like the more classical ‘ pankratēs ’, and ‘almighty’ itself suggest God's having power over all things. On the other hand the English word ‘omnipotent’ would ordinarily be taken to imply ability to do everything; the Latin word ‘omnipotens’ also predominantly has this meaning in Scholastic writers, even though in origin it is a Latinization of ‘ pantocratōr ’. So there already is a tendency to distinguish the two words; and in this paper I shall make the distinction a strict one. I shall use the word ‘almighty’ to express God's power over all things, and I shall take ‘omnipotence’ to mean ability to do everything. (shrink)
A very clear and powerfully argued defence of a most important and surprisingly neglected view."--Derek Parfit, All Souls College, Oxford. "If Dr. Olson is right, we are living animals and what goes on in our minds is wholly irrelevant to questions about our persistence through time....[Should] transform philosophical thinking about personal identity."--Peter van Inwagen, University of Notre Dame.
This paper examines the astrological and religious thinking of Moshe ben Nahman and the intellectual connections in this field with two of the most outstanding Christian thinkers of his time, Ramon Llull and Arnau de Vilanova. Nahmanides, like many medieval scholars, admitted an astral influence, but he did not accept astrology as a divinatory science. He incorporated astrological doctrines in his exegetical works, assuming that Israel is not determined by any star because it only responds to God. Yet the study (...) of medieval medicine and its application cannot be separated from astrology practice because it was considered that the stars had a direct influence not only on the development of the human body, from birth to death, but also in the disease processes which affect it. Ramban and his disciple Solomon ben Adret accepted and practiced astrological medicine. Llull and de Vilanova also devoted themselves to this discipline. All of them agree on the influence of the stars on humankind but condemned astral magic. Like Ramban, Llull rejects other astrological methods considered non-scientific in his time, such as prediction through horoscope. Thus, these thinkers tried to develop an astrology that was not in contradiction with divine omnipotence or free will. (shrink)
Recent and puzzling experimental results suggest that people’s judgments as to whether or not an action was performed intentionally are sensitive to moral considerations. In this paper, we outline these results and evaluate two accounts which purport to explain them. We then describe a recent experiment that allegedly vindicates one of these accounts and present our own findings to show that it fails to do so. Finally, we present additional data suggesting no such vindication could be in the offing and (...) that, in fact, both accounts fail to explain the initial, puzzling results they were purported to explain. (shrink)
We conduct an empirical study on the determinants of the psychological costs of tax evasion, also known as tax morale. As a preliminary step, we build a model of tax evasion including non-monetary considerations, show the relationship between tax compliance and tax morale. In the empirical analysis of tax morale we find, using a binomial logit model, that the justification of tax evasion can be explained by the presence of grievance in absolute terms (those who feel that taxes are too (...) high, those who feel that public funds are wasted, and those who accept underground economic activities); and grievances in relative terms (the suspected level of others’ tax evasion). The sense of duty and the level of solidarity are also relevant factors, but to a lesser extent. (shrink)
The world appears to conscious creatures in terms of experienced sensory qualities, but science doesn't find sensory experience in that world, only physical objects and properties. I argue that the failure to locate consciousness in the world is a function of our necessarily representational relation to reality as knowers: we won't discover the terms in which reality is represented by us in the world as it appears in those terms. Qualia -- arguably a type of representational content -- will therefore (...) not be found in the physical world as characterized in experience or science. Instead, consciousness constitutes a subjective, representational reality for cognitive systems such as ourselves, and the physical world is a represented objective reality. I suggest that naturalistic approaches to explaining consciousness should acknowledge the non-objectivity of experience, and be constrained by evidence that consciousness accompanies certain sorts of behaviour-controlling representational functions carried out by complex, physically instantiated mind-systems. I evaluate a variety of current hypotheses about consciousness, and suggest that a mature science of representation may help explain why, perhaps as matter of representational necessity, experience arises as a natural but not objectively discoverable phenomenon. (shrink)
Green agrees with Kant on the abstract character of moral law as categorical imperatives and that intentional dispositions are central to a moral justification of punishment. The central problem with Kant's account is that we are unable to know these dispositions beyond a reasonable estimate. Green offers a practical alternative, positing moral law as an ideal to be achieved, but not immediately enforceable through positive law. Moral and positive law are bridged by Green's theory of the common good through the (...) dialectic of morality. Thus, Green appears to offer an alternative that remains committed to Kantian morality whilst taking proper stock of our cognitive limitations. Unfortunately, Green fails to unravel fully Kant's dichotomy of moral and positive law that mirrors Green's solution, although Green offers a number of improvements, such as the importance of the community in establishing rights and linking the severity of punishment to the extent that a criminal act threatens the continued maintenance of a system of rights. (shrink)
Agent-relative consequentialism is thought attractive because it can secure agent-centred constraints while retaining consequentialism's compelling idea—the idea that it is always permissible to bring about the best available outcome. We argue, however, that the commitments of agent-relative consequentialism lead it to run afoul of a plausibility requirement on moral theories. A moral theory must not be such that, in any possible circumstance, were every agent to act impermissibly, each would have more reason to prefer the world thereby actualized over the (...) world that would have been actualized if every agent had instead acted permissibly. (shrink)
The rise of cognitive science in the 1960s was widely heralded as a scientific revolution -- an interpretation that implied the decline and eventual death of behavioral psychology. Although many forms of behavioral psychology did indeed disappear, there was a striking exception: the program of operant psychology founded by B.F. Skinner. This program actually grew at a rapid pace during the `cognitive revolution' and shows no signs of fading away. What, then, is its place within psychology, and in particular, what (...) is its relationship with cognitive psychology? This book attempts to answer that question. Distinguishing between operant psychology and the philosophy of radical behaviorism, it concludes that even though radical behaviorism may have been a failure, the operant program of research has been a success. Furthermore, operant psychology and cognitive psychology complement one another, each having its own domain within which it contributes something valuable to, but beyond the reach of, the other. (shrink)
In social cognition, knowledge-based validation of information is usually regarded as relying on strategic and resource-demanding processes. Research on language comprehension, in contrast, suggests that validation processes are involved in the construction of a referential representation of the communicated information. This view implies that individuals can use their knowledge to validate incoming information in a routine and efficient manner. Consistent with this idea, Experiments 1 and 2 demonstrated that individuals are able to reject false assertions efficiently when they have validity-relevant (...) beliefs. Validation processes were carried out routinely even when individuals were put under additional cognitive load during comprehension. Experiment 3 demonstrated that the rejection of false information occurs automatically and interferes with affirmative responses in a nonsemantic task. Experiment 4 also revealed complementary interference effects of true information with negative responses in a nonsemantic task. These results suggest the existence of fast and efficient validation processes that protect mental representations from being contaminated by false and inaccurate information. (shrink)
Originally published in 1949. This meticulously researched book presents a comprehensive outline and discussion of Aristotle’s mathematics with the author's translations of the greek. To Aristotle, mathematics was one of the three theoretical sciences, the others being theology and the philosophy of nature . Arranged thematically, this book considers his thinking in relation to the other sciences and looks into such specifics as squaring of the circle, syllogism, parallels, incommensurability of the diagonal, angles, universal proof, gnomons, infinity, agelessness of the (...) universe, surface of water, meteorology, metaphysics and mechanics such as levers, rudders, wedges, wheels and inertia. The last few short chapters address ‘problems’ that Aristotle posed but couldn’t answer, related ethics issues and a summary of some short treatises that only briefly touch on mathematics. (shrink)