All of inquiry is a mental process from the known to the unknown within the realm of possibility. This process uses the three faculties of perception, conception, and abstraction, all fueled by information. These faculties have corollaries in Science and Philosophy of Religion. It is the thesis of this book that if these faculties are intelligible and reliability in Science, there is no reason to reject them when used in other fields of inquiry.
Develops a logical analysis of dialogue in which two or more parties attempt to advance their own interests. It includes a classification of the major types of dialogues and a discussion of several important informal fallacies.
The traditional analysis of substances in terms of qualities which are supported by a "substratum" was rejected by conscientious empiricists like Berkeley, Hume and Russell on the grounds that only qualities, not the substratum, could be experienced. To these philosophers the proper alternative seemed obvious. One simply eliminates the "unknowable" element in which qualities are alleged to inhere. In Russell's words, "What would commonly be called a 'thing' is nothing but a bundle of coexisting qualities such as redness, hardness, etc."' (...) But this empiricist formula has difficulties of its own, and some philosophers have attempted to develop other views of particulars which avoid the errors of the Substratum Doctrine on the one hand and the Bundle-of¬Qualities Theory on the other.2 Discussions of what this third alternative might be have generally approached the question through an examination of the epistemologically suspect concepts of a substratum and its close relative, the concept of a "bare particular". The concept of a quality of something, because it seemingly presents no epistemological difficulties, has attracted much less critical attention. This imbalance in critical interest is unfortunate, however, for a close scrutiny of this latter concept, especially in its role as the key element in the "bundle" analysis of particulars, throws a great deal of light on the relation between particulars and their attributes. -/- . (shrink)
The finding that women are attracted to men older than themselves whereas men are attracted to relatively younger women has been explained by social psychologists in terms of economic exchange rooted in traditional sex-role norms. An alternative evolutionary model suggests that males and females follow different reproductive strategies, and predicts a more complex relationship between gender and age preferences. In particular, males' preferences for relatively younger females should be minimal during early mating years, but should become more pronounced as the (...) male gets older. Young females are expected to prefer somewhat older males during their early years and to change less as they age. We briefly review relevant theory and present results of six studies testing this prediction. Study 1 finds support for this gender-differentiated prediction in age preferences expressed in personal advertisements. Study 2 supports the prediction with marriage statistics from two U.S. cities. Study 3 examines the cross-generational robustness of the phenomenon, and finds the same pattern in marriage statistics from 1923. Study 4 replicates Study 1 using matrimonial advertisements from two European countries, and from India. Study 5 finds a consistent pattern in marriages recorded from 1913 through 1939 on a small island in the Philippines. Study 6 reveals the same pattern in singles advertisements placed by financially successful American women and men. We consider the limitations of previous normative and evolutionary explanations of age preferences and discuss the advantages of expanding previous models to include the life history perspective. (shrink)
Is the flavor of mint reducible to the minty smell, the taste, and the menthol-like coolness on the roof of one’s mouth, or does it include something over and above these—something not properly associated with any one of the contributing senses? More generally, are there features of perceptual experiences—so-called novel features—that are not associated with any of our senses taken singly? This question has received a lot of attention of late. Yet surprisingly little attention has been paid to the question (...) of what it means to say that a feature is associated with a sensory modality in the first place. Indeed, there is only one fully developed proposal in the literature, due to Casey O’Callaghan. I argue that this proposal is too permissive to inform the debate over novel features. I go on to argue that all attempts to formulate a better proposal along these lines fail. The corollary of my arguments is that the question of the existence of novel features is poorly formed. Furthermore, the problem generalizes, with the result that we should not rely on our pre-theoretical notions of the senses as the basis of theorizing about the features of perceptual experiences. (shrink)
In this response to Robert Hudson’s article, “Should We Strive to Make Science Bias-Free? A Philosophical Assessment of the Reproducibility Crisis,” we identify three ways in which he misrepresents our work: he conflates value-ladenness with bias; he describes our view as one in which values are the same as evidential factors; and he creates a false dichotomy between two ways that values could be considered in science for policy. We share Hudson’s concerns about promoting scientific reproducibility and reducing bias in (...) science, but we reject his view that the value-free ideal provides helpful guidance for addressing these issues. (shrink)
In recent papers and a book, Heather Douglas has expanded on the well-known argument from inductive risk, thereby launching an influential contemporary critique of the value-free ideal for science. This paper distills Douglas’s critique into four major claims. The first three claims provide a significant challenge to the value-free ideal for science. However, the fourth claim, which delineates her positive proposal to regulate values in science by distinguishing direct and indirect roles for values, is ambiguous between two interpretations, (...) and both have weaknesses. Fortunately, two elements of Douglas’s work that have previously received much less emphasis provide resources for developing a more promising approach for regulating values in science. (shrink)
Berkeley, Hume, and Russell rejected the traditional analysis of substances in terms of qualities which are supported by an "unknowable substratum." To them the proper alternative seemed obvious. Eliminate the substratum in which qualities are alleged to inhere, leaving a bundle of coexisting qualities--a view that we may call the Bundle Theory or BT. But by rejecting only part of the traditional substratum theory instead of replacing it entirely, Bundle Theories perpetuate certain confusions which are found in the Substratum Doctrine. (...) I examine two major types of BT developed by Russell and by G. F. Stout with the intention of showing that (1) the seemingly innocuous concept of "a quality" employed by these versions cannot be used to state their theories coherently, and (2) the fatal problems that the BT encounters point to a more satisfactory and interesting alternative to both the Substratum Doctrine and the BT. This is a view that I call the Qualified Particulars Theory. In a final section I draw morals from this discussion that apply to the analogous Humean view that a mind is a "bundle of perceptions and sensations.". (shrink)
Conscience, once a core concept for ethics, has mostly disappeared from modern moral theory. In this book Douglas Langston traces its intellectual history to account for its neglect while arguing for its still vital importance, if correctly understood. In medieval times, Langston shows in Part I, the notions of "conscientia" and "synderesis" from which our contemporary concept of conscience derives were closely connected to Greek ideas about the virtues and practical reason, although in Christianized form. As modified by Luther, (...) Butler, and Kant, however, conscience later came to be regarded as a faculty like will and intellect, and when faculty psychology fell into disrepute, so did the role of conscience in moral philosophy. A view of mature conscience that sees it as relational, with cognitive, emotional, and conative dimensions, can survive the criticisms of conscience as faculty. In Part II, through discussions of Freud, Ryle, and other modern thinkers, Langston proceeds to reconstruct conscience as a viable philosophical concept. Finally, in Part III, this better grounded concept is connected with the modern revival of virtue ethics, and Langston shows how crucial conscience is to a theory of virtue because it is fundamental to the training of any morally good person. (shrink)
An important source of doubt about our knowledge of the "external world" is the thought that all of our sensory experience could be delusive without our realizing it. Such wholesale questioning of the deliverances of all forms of perception seems to leave no resources for successfully justifying our belief in the existence of an objective world beyond our subjective experiences. I argue that there is there is a fatal flaw in the very expression of philosophical doubt about the "external world." (...) Therefore, no such justification is necessary. The feature of skepticism which I believe renders it vulnerable is the assumption that each of us has a right to be certain of his own existence as a subject of conscious experience even in the face of comprehensive doubt about our empirical beliefs. (shrink)
The Self-Defeating Character of Skepticism [ABSTRACT] Douglas C. Long Philosophical skepticism arises from a Cartesian first-person perspective that initially rejects as unjustified any appeal to sense perception. I argue that, contrary to the cogito argument, when a “purely subjective” epistemology cuts one off from justified beliefs about the world in this way, it undermines justified belief about one’s own existence as an individual in the world as well. Therefore, philosophical doubt expressed in the form: “I know that I exist (...) but I cannot know about the existence of anything else,” is in fact self-defeating. Philosophers have mistakenly assumed that the subjective epistemological perspective from which philosophical doubt about the existence of material objects is expressed is indeed our ordinary first person perspective on ourselves. And we of course know that the latter perspective surely provides epistemological access to ourselves as existing active subjects of experience. However, I claim that traditional wholesale epistemological skepticism in fact attempts to mandate an importantly different perspective on ourselves that we do not and cannot have. The feature of skepticism which I believe renders it vulnerable is the assumption that each of us has a right to be certain of his own existence as a subject of conscious experience even in the face of comprehensive doubt about our empirical beliefs. (shrink)
When people avow their present feelings, sensations, thoughts, etc., they enjoy what may be called “first-person privilege.” If I now said: “I have a headache,” or “I’m thinking about Venice,” I would be taken at my word: I would normally not be challenged. According to one prominent approach, this privilege is due to a special epistemic access we have to our own present states of mind. On an alternative, deflationary approach the privilege merely reflects a socio-linguistic convention governing avowals. We (...) reject both approaches. On our proposed account, a full explanation of the privilege must recognize avowals as expressive performances, which can be taken to reveal directly the subject’s present mental condition. We are able to improve on special access accounts and deflationary accounts, as well as familiar expressive accounts, by explaining both the asymmetries and the continuities between avowals and other pronouncements, and by locating a genuine though non-epistemic source for first-person privilege. (shrink)