Jürgen Habermas’ discourse theory of morality should be understood, in metaethical terms, as a constructivist theory. All constructivist theories face a Euthyphro-like dilemma arising from how they classify the constraints on their metaethical construction procedures: are they moral or non-moral? Many varieties of Kantian constructivism, such as Christine Korsgaard’s, classify the constraints as moral, albeit constitutive of human reason and agency in general. However, this constitutivist strategy is vulnerable to David Enoch’s ‘shmagency’ objection. The discourse theory of morality, by classifying (...) the constraints on the metaethical construction procedure and ) as non-moral, can avoid this problem. (shrink)
Robert Rees Davies, a Fellow of the British Academy, was a highly original historian who offered compelling new insights into medieval society through a body of work focused on Britain and Ireland and, above all, Wales. He deployed his formidable public skills as a chair of committees and eloquent promoter and advocate of the cause of history. To a considerable extent, Rees Davies' work as a historian was influenced by his higher education at University College London and the (...) University of Oxford, as well as by the example of Marc Bloch and of other French historians. He was born at Glanddwynant, Caletwr, near Llandderfel in Merioneth, the fourth and youngest son of William Edward and Sarah Margaret Davies. The publication in 1987 of Conquest, Coexistence, and Change: Wales 1063–1415, which won the Wolfson Literary Award for History, further enhanced Rees Davies' reputation as a scholar. He was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in the same year. (shrink)
Pragmatists have traditionally been enemies of representationalism but friends of naturalism, when naturalism is understood to pertain to human subjects, in the sense of Hume and Nietzsche. In this volume Huw Price presents his distinctive version of this traditional combination, as delivered in his René Descartes Lectures at Tilburg University in 2008. Price contrasts his view with other contemporary forms of philosophical naturalism, comparing it with other pragmatist and neo-pragmatist views such as those of Robert Brandom and Simon Blackburn. Linking (...) their different 'expressivist' programmes, Price argues for a radical global expressivism that combines key elements from both. With Paul Horwich and Michael Williams, Brandom and Blackburn respond to Price in new essays. Price replies in the closing essay, emphasising links between his views and those of Wilfrid Sellars. The volume will be of great interest to advanced students of philosophy of language and metaphysics. (shrink)
This volume brings together fourteen major essays by one of contemporary philosophy's most challenging thinkers. Huw Price links themes from Quine, Carnap, Wittgenstein and Rorty, to craft a powerful critique of contemporary naturalistic metaphysics. He offers a new positive program for philosophy, cast from a pragmatist mould.
Why is the future so different from the past? Why does the past affect the future and not the other way round? The universe began with the Big Bang - will it end with a `Big Crunch'? Now in paperback, this book presents an innovative and controversial view of time and contemporary physics. Price urges physicists, philosophers, and anyone who has ever pondered the paradoxes of time to look at the world from a fresh perspective, and throws fascinating new light (...) on some of the great mysteries of the universe. (shrink)
Like coastal cities in the third millennium, important areas of human discourse seem threatened by the rise of modern science. The problem isn't new, of course, or wholly unwelcome. The tide of naturalism has been rising since the seventeenth century, and the rise owes more to clarity than to pollution in the intellectual atmosphere. All the same, the regions under threat are some of the most central in human life--the four Ms, for example: Morality, Modality, Meaning and the Mental. Some (...) of the key issues in contemporary metaphysics concern the place and fate of such concepts in a naturalistic world view. (shrink)
How do rational minds make contact with the world? The empiricist tradition sees a gap between mind and world, and takes sensory experience, fallible as it is, to provide our only bridge across that gap. In its crudest form, for example, the traditional idea is that our minds consult an inner realm of sensory experience, which provides us with evidence about the nature of external reality. Notoriously, however, it turns out to be far from clear that there is any viable (...) conception of experience which allows it to do the job. The original problem is to show that thought is rationally constrained by external reality. If sensory experience is to provide the solution--in particular, if it is to provide the answer to sceptical challenges--it must therefore meet two criteria. First, it must itself be `receptive'--i.e., appropriately constrained by external reality. Second, it must be the kind of thing that can enter into a logical or rational relationship with belief--it must already be `conceptual,' in other words. In arguing against the idea that anything could serve both roles, Wilfred Sellars termed this conception of experience "the Myth of the Given.". (shrink)
The difference between cause and effect seems obvious and crucial in ordinary life, yet missing from modern physics. Almost a century ago, Bertrand Russell called the law of causality 'a relic of a bygone age'. In this important collection 13 leading scholars revisit Russell's revolutionary conclusion, discussing one of the most significant and puzzling issues in contemporary thought.
Many areas of philosophy employ a distinction between factual and non-factual (descriptive/non-descriptive, cognitive/non-cognitive, etc) uses of language. This book examines the various ways in which this distinction is normally drawn, argues that all are unsatisfactory, and suggests that the search for a sharp distinction is misconceived. The book develops an alternative approach, based on a novel theory of the function and origins of the concept of truth. The central hypothesis is that the main role of the normative notion of truth (...) is to encourage speakers to argue, with long-run behavioural advantages. This offers a fresh perspective on many debates about realism in contemporary philosophy. (shrink)
In July 2017, China’s State Council released the country’s strategy for developing artificial intelligence, entitled ‘New Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Plan’. This strategy outlined China’s aims to become the world leader in AI by 2030, to monetise AI into a trillion-yuan industry, and to emerge as the driving force in defining ethical norms and standards for AI. Several reports have analysed specific aspects of China’s AI policies or have assessed the country’s technical capabilities. Instead, in this article, we focus on (...) the socio-political background and policy debates that are shaping China’s AI strategy. In particular, we analyse the main strategic areas in which China is investing in AI and the concurrent ethical debates that are delimiting its use. By focusing on the policy backdrop, we seek to provide a more comprehensive and critical understanding of China’s AI policy by bringing together debates and analyses of a wide array of policy documents. (shrink)
_The Algebra of Revolution_ is the first book to study Marxist method as it has been developed by the main representatives of the classical Marxist tradition, namely Marx and Engels, Luxembourg, Lenin, Lukacs, Gramsci and Trotsky. This book provides the only single volume study of major Marxist thinkers' views on the crucial question of the dialectic, connecting them with pressing contemporary, political and theoretical questions. John Rees's _The Algebra of Revolution_ is vital reading for anyone interested in gaining a (...) new and fresh perspective on Marxist thought and on the notion of the dialectic. (shrink)
I argue that lying is generally morally better than mere deliberate misleading because the latter involves the exploitation of a greater trust and more seriously abuses our willingness to fulfil epistemic and moral obligations to others. Whereas the liar relies on our figuring out and accepting only what is asserted, the mere deliberate misleader depends on our actively inferring meaning beyond what is said in the form of conversational implicatures as well. When others’ epistemic and moral obligations are determined by (...) standard assumptions of communicative cooperation and no compelling moral reason justifies mere deliberate misleading instead, one had better lie. (shrink)
The Algebra of Revolution is the first book to study Marxist method as it has been developed by the main representatives of the classical Marxist tradition, namely Marx and Engels, Luxembourg, Lenin, Lukacs, Gramsci, and Trotsky. This book provides the only single volume study of major Marxist thinkers' views on the crucial question of the dialectic, connecting them with pressing contemporary, political and theoretical questions. This title available in eBook format. Click here for more information . Visit our eBookstore at: (...) www.ebookstore.tandf.co.uk. (shrink)
The conscious feeling of exercising ‘free-will’ is fundamental to our sense of self. However, in some psychopathological conditions actions may be experienced as involuntary or unwilled. We have used suggestion in hypnosis to create the experience of involuntariness in normal participants. We compared a voluntary finger movement, a passive movement and a voluntary movement suggested by hypnosis to be ‘involuntary.’ Hypnosis itself had no effect on the subjective experience of voluntariness associated with willed movements and passive movements or on time (...) estimations of their occurrence. However, subjective time estimates of a hypnotically-suggested, ‘involuntary’ finger movement were more similar to those for passive movements than for voluntary movements. The experience of anomalous control is qualitatively and quantitatively different from the normal conscious experience of a similar act produced intentionally. The experience of anomalous control may be produced either by pathology, or, in our case, by suggestion. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: -- Introduction -- PART I -- The Cosmopolitan Critique -- Elucidating the "Libertarian" Law of Peoples -- A Duty with No Obligations? -- PART II -- Considering the Capability Perspective -- Conceptualizing State Capability: The Freedom of Peoples -- Actualising State Capability -- PART III -- A Duty in Equilibrium -- Creeping Cosmopolitanism? -- Conclusions.
On its first appearance in 1960, J.O. Urmson's _Concise encyclopedia of Western philosophy and philosophers_ established itself as a classic. Its contributors included many of the leading philosophers of the English-speaking world: Ryle, Hare, Strawson, Ayer, Dummett, Williams and many others. They wrote with an authority and individuality which made the _Encyclopedia_ into a lively and engaging introduction to philosophy as well as a convenient reference work. For this edition, supervised by Jonathan Rée, the original articles have been revised and (...) updated, and eighty articles by thirty one new authors have been added. The additions take account of recent developments in philosophy, of literary, historical and political issues in philosophy, and of developments in continental thought, including in Marxism, psychoanalysis, phenomenology, existentialism, structuralism, post-structuralism and deconstruction. There is a clear, integral cross-referencing system which allows the reader to identify points of overlap between philosophical traditions and their personalities at a glance. (shrink)
Simone Weil was a remarkable woman: a teacher, a factory worker, a field hand, a traveler, and a frontline volunteer in the Spanish Civil War; yet she found time to write and to philosophize about life and religion. Her short life (1909–43) spanned two world wars, although she did not live to see the end of the second one. The reactions of this French Jewish woman to some of the facets of these conflicts may seem surprising; her sympathies and affirmations (...) were perhaps too extreme, but she did think for herself in an unorthodox and challenging way and had a passionate sense of justice. Mr. Rees believes that this book may contain more illumination for the present world’s spiritual needs than any other twentieth-century commentary. Some of Simone Weil’s proposals concerning patriotism, obligations, freedom of expression, and the needs of the soul may seem Utopian, but they would not be unreasonable in a society adopting her moral code. Simone Weil was an intellectual with an essentially tragic view of life, but she was not removed from the everyday life. Her thought was unique and cannot be classified. She was neither a reactionary nor a progressive but a great soul and a brilliant mind, as T. S. Eliot expressed it, “with a kind of genius akin to that of the saints.” Since she explored problems which confront modern man, the reader will find thoughtful stimulation in her work. In a previous book, Brave Men, the author likened her to D. H. Lawrence—both lonely visionaries suffering from a devouring spiritual hunger. This book gives a condensed but penetrating account of Miss Weil’s interests. Since her writings cover more than philosophy and religion, the reader will feel compelled to become more familiar with her work. (shrink)
In this paper we defend the view that the ordinary notions of cause and effect have a direct and essential connection with our ability to intervene in the world as agents.1 This is a well known but rather unpopular philosophical approach to causation, often called the manipulability theory. In the interests of brevity and accuracy, we prefer to call it the agency theory.2 Thus the central thesis of an agency account of causation is something like this: an event A is (...) a cause of a distinct event B just in case bringing about the occurrence of A would be an effective means by which a free agent could bring about the occurrence of B. In our view the unpopularity of the agency approach to causation may be traced to two factors. The first is a failure to appreciate certain distinctive advantages that this approach has over its various rivals. We have drawn attention to some of these advantages elsewhere, and we summarize below. However, the second and more important factor is the influence of a number of stock objections, objections that seem to have persuaded many philosophers that agency accounts face insuperable obstacles. In this paper we want to show that these objections have been vastly overrated. There are four main objections. (shrink)
_An ambitious new history of philosophy in English that broadens the canon to include many lesser-known figures__ “[This] lively chronicle of philosophy in English is a splendid accomplishment sufficient unto itself. Highly intelligent, always even-handed, quietly but consistently witty, _Witcraft _is an excellent guide along the twisted and tricky path of human thought.”—___Wall Street Journal__ Ludwig Wittgenstein once wrote that “philosophy should be written like poetry.” But philosophy has often been presented more prosaically as a long trudge through canonical authors (...) and great works. But what, Jonathan Rée asks, if we instead saw the history of philosophy as a haphazard series of unmapped forest paths, a mass of individual stories showing endurance, inventiveness, bewilderment, anxiety, impatience, and good humor? Here, Jonathan Rée brilliantly retells this history, covering such figures as Descartes, Locke, Kant, Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, Mill, James, Frege, Wittgenstein, and Sartre. But he also includes authors not usually associated with philosophy, such as William Hazlitt, George Eliot, Darwin, and W. H. Auden. Above all, he uncovers dozens of unremembered figures—puritans, revolutionaries, pantheists, feminists, nihilists, socialists, and scientists—who were passionate and active readers of philosophy, and often authors themselves. Breaking away from high-altitude narratives, he shows how philosophy finds its way into ordinary lives, enriching and transforming them in unexpected ways. (shrink)
This 1990 collection explores one recurrent theme connecting philosophy and politics: the relation between the nature of man and the structure of society. It does so by concentrating on the topical issue of the market economy as an attempt to resolve the clash between individual autonomy and collective action. Beginning with a historical and personal recollection by Enoch Powell and a response by Robert Skidelsky, the volume then provides a forum for political theorists and philosophers to take issue on the (...) fundamental topics of markets and morals; liberal man; and equality and libertarianism. It succeeds equally as a stimulating textbook and a book for the general reader who wishes to understand the philosophical issues arising in a market economy. (shrink)
A groundbreaking study of deafness, by a philosopher who combines the scientific erudition of Oliver Sacks with the historical flair of Simon Schama. There is nothing more personal than the human voice, traditionally considered the expression of the innermost self. But what of those who have no voice of their own and cannot hear the voices of others? In this tour de force of historical narrative, Jonathan Ree tells the astonishing story of the deaf, from the sixteenth century to the (...) present. Ree explores the great debates about deafness between those who believed the deaf should be made to speak and those who advocated non-oral communication. He traces the botched attempts to make language visible, through such exotic methods as picture writing, manual spellings, and vocal photography. And he charts the tortuous progress and final recognition of sign systems as natural languages in their own right. I See a Voice escorts us on a vast and eventful intellectual journey,taking in voice machines and musical scales, shorthand and phonetics, Egyptian hieroglyphs, talking parrots, and silent films. A fascinating tale of goodwill subverted by bad science, I See a Voice is as learned and informative as it is delightful to read. (shrink)
This article revisits materialist second-wave feminist debates about domestic labour in the context of digitalisation. Using a differentiated typology of labour, it looks at how the tasks involved in housework have undergone dramatic changes through commodification, decommodification and recommodification without fundamentally altering the gender division of labour in social reproduction, drawing on recent research on the use of online platforms to deliver social reproductive labour via the market in a context in which reproductive labour sits at the centre of an (...) intense time squeeze. It reflects on the implications of the commodification of domestic labour for feminist strategy. The author points to the inadequacy in this context of traditional feminist strategies—for the socialisation of domestic labour through public services, wages for housework or labour-saving through technological solutions—concluding that new strategies are needed that address the underlying social relations that perpetuate unequal divisions of labour in contemporary capitalism. (shrink)