To talk of a logic of mysticism may sound distinctly odd. If anything, mysticism is alogical; it would be uncharitable if not false, on mature consideration, to call it illogical—though many, without due deliberation, might be tempted to use that term. Wittgenstein comes close to calling it illogical. In his lecture on ethics he draws attention to the logical oddity of statements of absolute value. But he does not accuse the mystics or prophets or religious teachers of contradicting themselves or (...) of invalid reasoning. What he accuses them of may be something worse, namely, talking nonsense, of not giving sense to the words they use or the expressions they utter. Russell and Ayer come to much the same conclusion but by a different route. (shrink)
Some years ago I came across the following question thrown out almost casually in the course of discussion: How many of us, it was asked, want to call a ‘bad work of art’ a ‘work of art’? The question was clearly rhetorical; the author quite obviously did not consider that anyone in his right mind would suggest that a bad work of art was a work of art. This struck me as rather odd. Surely there can be good and bad (...) works of art, just as there can be good and bad apples or good and bad men. An apple does not cease to be an apple just because it is bad, unless perhaps it has become thoroughly rotten; but the gardener who says ‘The Coxes are bad this year’ does not mean that they have grown rotten on the trees, much less that they are not apples at all. Moreover, if so-called bad works of art are not works of art, what are they? You may not think highly of the works in the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition but they are not totally dissimilar to some works in Bond Street next door which are highly regarded. (shrink)
It is over forty years since Merleau-Ponty published his first major work, Le structure de comportement and a quarter of a century since he died. He belongs, therefore, with Sartre and Marcel, to the first post-War generation of French philosophers. Like his friend Sartre's, his philosophy may be regarded as dated, passé, of no interest or relevance to truly contemporary thought. In philosophical terms forty years are nothing; in terms of trends, fashions and novelties they are an eternity. But perhaps (...) the work of Merleau-Ponty has not dated because it was never in vogue. He did not write plays and novels, or take part in political demonstrations, though he was involved in politics, or win a Nobel prize and refuse to receive it. He was very much a philosopher's philosopher, eminent in his field, well known in academic circles in France but hardly a household name. In this country he is hardly known even in philosophical circles, except by name. More is the pity, since his philosophical approach and manner of philosophizing have much in common with certain modes of British philosophizing, as I hope to show. (shrink)
Cyril Smith shows that Marx developed a far richer and liberatory vision of humanity and the alternative to capital than that which has characterized his followers, and he makes a powerful argument that it is essential to return to Marx's original body of thought in order to reconstitute a viable critique of existing capitalist society.
A philosopher and a cognitive neuroscientist conversed with Buddhist lama Tilmann Lhündrup Borghardt about the unresolved phenomenological concerns and logical questions surrounding “pure” consciousness or minimal phenomenal experience, a quasi-contentless, non-dual state whose phenomenology of “emptiness” is often described in terms of the phenomenal quality of luminosity that experienced meditators have reported occurs in deep meditative states. Here, we present the excerpts of the conversation that relate to the question of how it is possible to first have and later retrieve (...) such non-dual states of selflessness and timelessness that are unrelated to sensory input. According to TLB, a “pure” experience of consciousness contains the phenomenal quality of luminous clarity, which is experienced solely in the transitional phase from the non-dual state of absolute emptiness to the state of minimal emptiness, when the person gradually returns to duality. However, this quality of luminous clarity can also be experienced in non-minimal states as in the experiential mode of being awakened. TLB describes this transition as a kind of ephemeral afterglow in the form of a maximally abstract phenomenal quality, i.e., luminosity, which justifies the conclusion of having been in a state of “pure” consciousness. (shrink)
The affective view of faith, as opposed to the doxastic or cognitive view, giving more importance to goodwill than to belief content, has received much support in recent philosophy of religion, including from Richard Swinburne. Swinburne's concept of faith is no less rational than his concept of religious belief, but its rationality is that of an action or of a practically oriented attitude, aiming at the goals of religion, compatible with religious disbelief and even with atheism. I argue that this (...) paradoxical stance, which hardly squares with the Christian tradition, can be avoided, while keeping to an affective view of faith, if we give more weight to the idea that faith is first an answer given to a telling, on the basis of personal trust of the hearer in the authority of the teller – a personal account as opposed to a propositional account of faith. (shrink)
Provides a critical and analytical history of ancient Greek theories on the nature of pleasure, and of its value and rolein human lfie, from the ealriest times down to the period of Epicurus and the early Stoics.
Cette étude tente de répondre à la question de la possibilité ou plutôt du caractère intelligible de l'attribution à Dieu de la prescience de nos actes libres. Il s'agir d'un problème bien connu des historiens de la pensée, d'Aristote à Leibniz. La question "Dieu a-t-il la science des futurs actes futurs libres (plus généralement des futurs contingents)" doit être précédée par la question "la notion de Dieu comme d'un être qui a la science des actes futurs libres est-elle intelligible ?" (...) L'auteur commence par étudier les raisons et enjeux d'attribuer ou de refuser à Dieu la prescience. Puis il s'attache à la conception de la liberté qui semble incompatible avec la prescience, avant de préciser l'idée d'incompatibilité de la prescience et de la liberté puis d'étudier les diverses tentatives proposées pour éviter une telle incompatibilité. (shrink)
Game theory and rules are deeply intertwined for at least two reasons: first, in many cases rules are necessary to break the indeterminacy that surrounds most of the games; second, in the past 30 years game theory has been increasingly used as a major tool to build a theory of social rules. Interestingly, though the concept of rules is now part of most game theorists' tool box, none of them has explicitly entertained the important distinction between regulative rules and constitutive (...) rules. This distinction, which finds its roots in Ludwig Wittgenstein's profound discussion of ‘language games’, is at the core of modern philosophy of social sciences. This article asks whether game theory can account for constitutive rules. I distinguish between three game-theoretic accounts of rules: the rules-as-behavioral-regularities account, the rules-as-normative-expectations account, and the rules-as-correlated-devices account. I show that only the latter two are able to make sense of constitutive rules by giving up.. (shrink)
Cet ouvrage présente les éléments du débat contemporain sur la possibilité et la réalité du libre arbitre. Le débat traditionnel sur l’existence du libre arbitre, menacée par diverses formes de nécessité, est repoussé après le débat qu’ont inspiré les philosophes qui ont défendu la compatibilité du libre arbitre et de la nécessité. La partie principale du livre envisage le rapport du libre arbitre et du déterminisme causal, et soutient la thèse de leur incompatibilité, puis celle de l’existence du libre arbitre, (...) ce qui définit une position “libertarienne”.Les deux commentaires, de textes de Neslon Pike et Peter van Inwagen, sont l’occasion d’évoquer le débat sur le fatalisme logique, dans sa version théologique qui fait peser une menace sur le libre arbitre à partir de la prescience, et le débat sur la possibilité et l’intelligibilité de l’action libre dans l’hypothèse de l’indéterminisme. (shrink)
This paper evaluates how Amartya Sen’s critique of revealed preference theory stands against the latter’s contemporary, ‘neo-Samuelsonian’ version. Neo- Samuelsonians have argued that Sen’s arguments against RPT are innocuous, in particular once it is acknowledged that RPT does not assume away the existence of motivations or other latent psychological or cognitive processes. Sen’s claims that preferences and choices need to be distinguished and that external factors need to be taken into account to analyze the act of choice then appear to (...) be irrelevant. However, while it is true that contemporary revealed preference theory partially evades Sen’s critique, I show that the latter is still relevant outside the restricted areas of consumer choice and market dynamics. In particular, Sen’s views regarding the importance of incomplete preferences and the multiplicity of levels of agency can hardly be integrated into the framework of CRPT. This is a significant limit, given the imperialistic claims of some of the proponents of the latter. (shrink)
ABSTRACTDeliberative and decisional groups play crucial roles in most aspects of social life. But it is not obvious how to organize these groups and various socio-cognitive mechanisms can spoil debates and decisions. In this paper we focus on one such important mechanism: the misrepresentation of views, i.e. when agents express views that are aligned with those already expressed, and which differ from their private opinions. We introduce a model to analyze the extent to which this behavioral pattern can warp deliberations (...) and distort the decisions that are finally taken. We identify types of situations in which misrepresentation can have major effects and investigate how to reduce these effects by adopting appropriate deliberative procedures. We discuss the beneficial effects of holding a sufficient number of rounds of expression of views; choosing an appropriate order of speech, typically a random one; rendering the deliberation dissenter-friendly; having agents express fined-grained views. These applicable procedures help improve deliberations because they dampen conformist behavior, give epistemic minorities more opportunities to be heard, and reduce the number of cases in which an inadequate consensus or majority develops. (shrink)
In this paper some parallelisms and differences are presented between two ancient theological traditions concerning their model of Christ by comparing two representative figures of both schools, namely Theodoret of Cyrus and Cyril of Alexandria. Since the Christology of the two authors could not be compared in detail within such a paper, the investigation resumes itself to the mode how they interpret the Lord’s Temptation by the devil in the wilderness. The works involved in the analysis include Theodoret’s treatise On (...) the incarnation written in 431 before the Council of Ephesus, the fragments of Cyril’s Commentary on Matthew as well as his Commentary on Luke. The doctrinal conclusion of this comparison is that the two traditions represented by these illustrious theologians—despite their conspicuous and undeniable differences— signify rather complementary than flatly opposing views and that the two ancient traditions have found their revival even in the sixteenth century, and continue to influence the theologians of our time. This is why the author considers Chalcedon as being a corridor rather than a narrow path or a tightrope-walking, where only one is able to go through. (shrink)
This article presents a community-based account of salience as an alternative and a complement to the ‘natural salience’ approach which is endorsed by almost all game theorists who use this concept. While in the naturalistic approach, salience is understood as an objective and natural property of some entities, the community-based account claims that salience is a function of community membership. Building on David Lewis’s theory of common knowledge and on some of its recent refined accounts, I suggest that salience acts (...) as a correlating device in a correlated equilibrium. What is constitutive of salience is common understanding, the fact that agents have common knowledge that they share the same modes of reasoning with respect to a well-identified set of events. I argue that the basis for common understanding is community membership. The relevance of this account stems from the fact that it answers the objection that salience is either unnecessary or unable to account for coordination between rational agents. (shrink)
From the early reception of Thomas Aquinas up to the present, many have interpreted his theory of liberum arbitrium to imply intellectual determinism: we do not control our choices, because we do not control the practical judgments that cause our choices. In this paper we argue instead that he rejects determinism in general and intellectual determinism in particular, which would effectively destroy liberum arbitrium as he conceives of it. We clarify that for Aquinas moral responsibility presupposes liberum arbitrium and thus (...) the ability to do otherwise, although the ability to do otherwise applies differently to praise and blame. His argument against intellectual determinism is not straightforward, but we construct it by analogy to his arguments against other deterministic threats. The non-determinism of the intellect’s causality with respect to the will results from his claims that practical reasoning is defeasible and that the reasons for actions are not contrastive reasons. (shrink)
Philosopher sur la religion, c’est d’abord étudier les concepts qui permettent d’en construire le contenu doctrinal, et les arguments par lesquels on peut en montrer la plausibilité ou en défendre la possibilité. Dieu est-il éternel, hors du temps, ou sempiternel, dans le temps? Que valent les arguments classiques en faveur de l’existence de Dieu? La bonté de Dieu est-elle compatible avec l’existence du mal dans le monde? Pouvons-nous percevoir Dieu? Les croyances religieuses sont-elles justifiables?Ces questions de théologie et d’épistémologie sont (...) traditionnelles, mais elles restent actuelles. Elles sont aujourd’hui poursuivies à nouveaux frais, à l’aide de méthodes et de concepts qui sont développés par la logique, l’épistémologie et la métaphysique contemporaine, notamment au sein de la tradition de la philosophie analytique. Les textes ici présentés composent ainsi une théologie philosophique dont on a pu croire, à tort, que les philosophes y avaient renoncé. (shrink)
The argument from ignorance mounted by John Schellenberg argues from the existence of non-faulty unbelief to the non-existence of God, from the fact of atheism or agnosticism to the truth of atheism. It relies on two putative conceptual relations: between the idea of love and that of personal relationship, and between personal relationship and existential belief on each side of the relation concerning the other relatum. I argue that each is debatable, and so the argument cannot proceed.
Using panel data of 4,244 company years, we examine whether and how corporate social performance (CSP) affects a firm’s capacity to achieve profitable sales in foreign markets. Based on our extension of instrumental stakeholder theory into the international arena, we hypothesized a U-shaped relationship between CSP and multinationality. Results supported our contention that multinational enterprises (MNEs) need to be substantially committed to social performance objectives if they are to recoup the cost of their CSP investments, and improve their capacity to (...) compete in foreign markets. MNEs engaged in intermediate levels of CSP achieve lower levels of multinationality than firms operating at either anchor of the social performance continuum. In addition, this study demonstrates that CSP moderates a well-established relationship in international business literature – the relationship between R&D investment and a firm’s multinationality. Implications for research and practice are discussed. (shrink)
Experiments (E), computer simulations (CS) and thought experiments (TE) are usually seen as playing different roles in science and as having different epistemologies. Accordingly, they are usually analyzed separately. We argue in this paper that these activities can contribute to answering the same questions by playing the same epistemic role when they are used to unfold the content of a well-described scenario. We emphasize that in such cases, these three activities can be described by means of the same conceptual framework—even (...) if each of them, because they involve different types of processes, fall under these concepts in different ways. We further illustrate our claims by presenting a threefold case study describing how a TE, a CS and an E were indeed used in the same role at different periods to answer the same questions about the possibility of a physical Maxwellian demon. We also point at fluid dynamics as another field where these activities seem to be playing the same unfolding role. We analyze the importance of unfolding as a general task of science and highlight how our description in terms of epistemic functions articulates in a noncommittal way with the epistemology of these three activities and accounts for their similarities and the existence of hybrid forms of activities. We finally emphasize that picturing these activities as functionally substitutable does not imply that they are epistemologically substitutable. (shrink)