It is true that Hegelian historicism has indeed led to a dominant ethos of moral relativism bound up with the belief that individual self-actualization is the highest value, thus creating a society that is, in the phrase of H. Tristram Engelhardt, Jr. “after God.” Nevertheless, this egocentric and nihilistic relativism exists alongside a robust and militant moral totalitarianism enforced by the modern clerisy of the media, multi-national corporations, and government bureaucrats, that is, a “managerial elite.” This article argues that the (...) transcendental idealism of Kant and the subsequent historicization of Kant’s dialectic by Hegel has served to reconceptualize the older, Baconian view of science, creating the idea that scientific progress is moving toward the goal of a future perfection of absolute rational unity. The a priori rational structure of reality that makes science possible is not a Platonic Ideal, but something that unfolds within history. This is what allowed Marx to conceive of dialectical materialism as a science, and this is what allows the managerial elite of the present to claim a scientific and objective basis for their programs while at the same time using the tools of historical and cultural criticism to relativize and historicize the claims of all competing moral and social “constructs.”. (shrink)
This article argues that Dr. Kornu has failed to demonstrate how Jonathan Edward’s theology of beauty can substantively contribute to a contemporary Christian theology of medicine. Edward’s appropriation of Neo-Platonic language is contrasted with the use of the same language by the Orthodox Church Fathers. It is argued that the absence of a mystical understanding of theology, sacramental church structure, and ascetical discipline within the Reformed Tradition renders any attempt to appropriate a Neo-Platonic understanding of beauty ineffectual.
We prove a Gleason-type theorem for the quantum probability rule using frame functions defined on positive-operator-valued measures, as opposed to the restricted class of orthogonal projection-valued measures used in the original theorem. The advantage of this method is that it works for two-dimensional quantum systems and even for vector spaces over rational fields—settings where the standard theorem fails. Furthermore, unlike the method necessary for proving the original result, the present one is rather elementary. In the case of a qubit, we (...) investigate similar results for frame functions defined upon various restricted classes of POVMs. For the so-called trine measurements, the standard quantum probability rule is again recovered. (shrink)
From the desire to find support and confirmation for our personal sensory observations, and from the human interest in sharing our experiences with others, there emerges a basic principle of scientific method: We demand the possibility of intelligible communication and agreement concerning individuals' sensory perceptions in particular and their experiences in general. This requirement is made both for the natural and social sciences. The raw material offered for logical organization must be capable of exhibiting an inter-subjective character—such material, or protocols, (...) must be acceptable in common to all concerned. And it must be acceptable for logical organization or systematization in some science. (shrink)
(2013). Disrespectful Care in the Treatment of Sickle Cell Disease Requires More Than Ethics Consultation. The American Journal of Bioethics: Vol. 13, No. 4, pp. 12-14. doi: 10.1080/15265161.2013.768857.
In The Varieties of Reference, Gareth Evans argues that the content of perceptual experience is nonconceptual, in a sense I shall explain momentarily. More recently, in his book Mind and World, John McDowell has argued that the reasons Evans gives for this claim are not compelling and, moreover, that Evans’s view is a version of “the Myth of the Given”: More precisely, Evans’s view is alleged to suffer from the same sorts of problems that plague sense-datum theories of perception. In (...) particular, McDowell argues that perceptual experience must be within “the space of reasons,” that perception must be able to give us reasons for, that is, to justify, our beliefs about the world: And, according to him, no state that does not have conceptual content can be a reason for a belief. Now, there are many ways in which Evans’s basic idea, that perceptual content is nonconceptual, might be developed; some of these, I shall argue, would be vulnerable to the objections McDowell brings against him. But I shall also argue that there is a way of developing it that is not vulnerable to these objections. (shrink)
Charles Griswold has written a comprehensive philosophical study of Smith's moral and political thought. Griswold sets Smith's work in the context of the Enlightenment and relates it to current discussions in moral and political philosophy. Smith's appropriation as well as criticism of ancient philosophy, and his carefully balanced defence of a liberal and humane moral and political outlook, are also explored. This 1999 book is a major philosophical and historical reassessment of a key figure in the Enlightenment that will be (...) of particular interest to philosophers and political and legal theorists, as well as historians of ideas, rhetoric, and political economy. (shrink)
Measurement is fundamental to all the sciences, the behavioural and social as well as the physical and in the latter its results provide our paradigms of 'objective fact'. But the basis and justification of measurement is not well understood and is often simply taken for granted. Henry Kyburg Jr proposes here an original, carefully worked out theory of the foundations of measurement, to show how quantities can be defined, why certain mathematical structures are appropriate to them and what meaning attaches (...) to the results generated. Crucial to his approach is the notion of error - it can not be eliminated entirely from its introduction and control, her argues, arises the very possibility of measurement. Professor Kyburg's approach emphasises the empirical process of making measurements. In developing it he discusses vital questions concerning the general connection between a scientific theory and the results which support it. (shrink)
Originally published by Routledge in 1988, this pioneering collection of essays now features a new preface and updated bibliography by the editor, reflecting the most significant developments in Plato scholarship during the past decade.
Can there be knowledge and rational belief in the absence of a rational degree of confidence? Yes, and cases of "mistuned knowledge" demonstrate this. In this paper we leverage this normative possibility in support of advancing our understanding of the metaphysical relation between belief and credence. It is generally assumed that a Lockean metaphysics of belief that reduces outright belief to degrees of confidence would immediately effect a unification of coarse-grained epistemology of belief with fine-grained epistemology of confidence. Scott Sturgeon (...) has suggested that the unification is effected by understanding the relation between outright belief and confidence as an instance of the determinable-determinate relation. But determination of belief by confidence would not by itself yield the result that norms for confidence carry over to norms for outright belief unless belief and high confidence are token identical. We argue that this token-identity thesis is incompatible with the neglected phenomenon of “mistuned knowledge”—knowledge and rational belief in the absence of rational confidence. We contend that there are genuine cases of mistuned knowledge and that, therefore, epistemological unification must forego token identity of belief and high confidence. We show how partial epistemological unification can be secured given determination of outright belief by degrees of confidence even without token-identity. Finally, we suggest a direction for the pursuit of thoroughgoing epistemological unification. (shrink)
Contemporary theories of consciousness are based on widely different concepts of its nature, most or all of which probably embody aspects of the truth about it. Starting with a concept of consciousness indicated by the phrase “the feeling of what happens” (the title of a book by Antonio Damásio), we attempt to build a framework capable of supporting and resolving divergent views. We picture consciousness in terms of Reality experiencing itself from the perspective of cognitive agents. Each conscious experience is (...) regarded as composed of momentary feeling events that are combined by recognition and evaluation into extended conscious episodes that bind cognitive contents with a wide range of apparent durations (0.1 secs to 2 or more secs, for us humans, depending on circumstances and context). Three necessary conditions for the existence of consciousness are identified: a) a ground of Reality, envisaged as an universal field of potentiality encompassing all possible manifestations, whether material or 'mental'; b) a transitional zone, leading to; c) a manifest world with its fundamental divisions into material, 'informational' and quale-endowed aspects. We explore ideas about the nature of these necessary conditions, how they may relate to one another and whether our suggestions have empirical implications. (shrink)
Cognitive theories of metaphor understanding are typically described in terms of the mappings between different kinds of abstract, schematic, disembodied knowledge. My claim in this paper is that part of our ability to make sense of metaphorical language, both individual utterances and extended narratives, resides in the automatic construction of a simulation whereby we imagine performing the bodily actions referred to in the language. Thus, understanding metaphorical expressions like ‘grasp a concept’ or ‘get over’ an emotion involve simulating what it (...) must be like to engage in these specific activities, even though these actions are, strictly speaking, impossible to physically perform. This process of building a simulation, one that is fundamentally embodied in being constrained by past and present bodily experiences, has specific consequences for how verbal metaphors are understood, and how cognitive scientists, more generally, characterize the nature of metaphorical language and thought. (shrink)