I am not so insular and I hope not so presumptuous as to suppose that there is no contemporary philosophy apart from that empiricism which dominates very much of Great Britain, North America and Scandinavia. So let us notice that contemporary philosophy embraces broadly three points of view, though it will be part of my argument that they largely combine in the lessons they have to teach us, and in many of their implications for theology.
This paper argues for a completely universal scepticism, according to which no beliefs at all are justified to the least degree. The argument starts with a version of the Agrippan trilemma, according to which, if we accept that a belief is justified, we must choose between foundationalism, coherentism of a particular sort, and an infinite regress of justified beliefs. Each of these theories is given a careful specification in terms of the relationship of “justifiedness in p depending on justifiedness in (...) q”. It is then argued that no beliefs – not even beliefs about phenomenal experiences – are foundational in the required way. Both coherentism and infinitism are untenable, since, since they face various objections, most significantly the objection that acceptance of either would commit one to allowing that all beliefs were justified. Because the three possible accounts of justificational structure all fail radically, it is concluded that no beliefs are justified. (shrink)
Sceptics have been accused of achieving their sceptical conclusions by an arbitrary (though usually implicit) redefinition of terms like “justified”, so that, while it may be true that no belief is justified in the sceptic’s new sense of the word, all the beliefs we have taken as justified remain so in the ordinary, standard meaning of the term. This paper defends scepticism against this charge. It is pointed out that there are several sorts of case where someone’s belief may be (...) properly termed justified in one “sense”, or from one “point of view”, but from another, equally properly termed unjustified. It is argued that the point of view of the sceptic, or the sense in which he uses the term, is one of the perfectly standard ones, and not some arbitrarily introduced new sense. In addition, an explanation that is not damaging to scepticism is provided of a sceptic’s own continued ascriptions of justifiedness in everyday contexts. (shrink)
6. Seeing With the Mind’s Eye 1: The Puzzle of Mental Imagery .................................................6-1 6.1 What is the puzzle about mental imagery?..............................................................................6-1 6.2 Content, form and substance of representations ......................................................................6-6 6.3 What is responsible for the pattern of results obtained in imagery studies?.................................6-8..
Opening the round table, I. T. Frolov, editor-in-chief of Voprosy filosofii, stated that discussing problems of this type today, the task lies not so much in emphasizing their general and traditional aspects but in finding a scientific and practical solution to new problems of interaction of man and nature that can now be solved only on a global scale. Furthermore, he observed that discussion of these problems as questions of morality, in terms of pessimistic or optimistic evaluation, is very important (...) but certainly entirely inadequate. Not only social and philosophical but many political conclusions follow from a discussion of problems of interaction between man and nature. Investigation and solution of these problems, which require concrete scientific and practical approaches, may facilitate the development of such policies as peaceful coexistence, strengthening of neighborly treaty relations, and so forth. Solving these problems will help peoples come closer together and contribute to the firmer establishment of peace throughout the world. (shrink)
Although the principle of respect for personal autonomy has been the subject of debate for almost 40 years, the conversation has often suffered from lack of clarity regarding the philosophical traditions underlying this principle. In this article, I trace a genealogy of autonomy, first contrasting Kant’s autonomy as moral obligation and Mill’s teleological political liberty. I then show development from Mill’s concept to Beauchamp and Childress’ principle and to Julian Savulescu’s non-teleological autonomy sketch. I argue that, although the reach for (...) a new principle to guide choices in physician–patient relationships can rightfully be seen as important, the notion that is now called autonomy within bioethics has corollaries that undermine critical aspects of medical care. As such, there is need for a richer account of the interplay between the free choice of patients and the informed recommendations of doctors. (shrink)
In this paper, I respond to the paper “The Validation of Induction” by Robert Pargetter and John Bigelow (Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 75:1, 1997), in which the authors propound the thesis that the arguments commonly thought of as good inductive arguments “properly construed, are deductively valid”. I maintain that they have not established this claim, and neither have they established a number of associated but logically independent claims that they make about inductive arguments and inductive inferences.
On the path from myth to logos Greek culture, which grasped the meaning of this path, formulated the concepts of episteme and theoria, which are connected today with the image of science. They contain many connotations that they partly lost later on . Becoming a term of both ordinary and specialized scientific-philosophical language, theoria preserved also the wider, more general cultural meaning that emphasizes the complexity and contradictoriness of the cognitive process and the problematical character as well as the great (...) value of knowledge in general. Theory, which was first embodied in ancient astronomy, expressed, among other things, the essence of man, which lies in man's mediating position between the heavens and the earth: standing on Earth, he raises his eyes to the heavens. (shrink)
We do not usually draw conclusions and summarize the results of our round table meetings. The speakers share their ideas, divergent viewpoints are discussed, and a certain level of approach to the problems under discussion is formulated. Therefore, today I will also not attempt to draw a conclusion.
I discuss and criticise Douglas Gasking’s paper, “The Analytic-Synthetic Controversy” (in the current issue of this journal). Gasking proposes an explanation of our classifying together as “analytic” statements like “Someone is a bachelor if and only if he is an unmarried man”. He proposes that the feature common to the statements that we so classify is that they provide the only “semantic anchor” for a word that does not have, in Quine’s terms, a socially constant stimulus meaning. I argue that, (...) even after modifications are introduced to allow the account to handle certain difficulties, the account falls to some fatal objections. (shrink)
I wrote this essay for three reasons. First, in proofreading The Reconstruction of the Humanistic Spirit, I felt that this great pile of articles contained only general discourses on the social and cultural problems of China and the Western world but did not mention my own philosophical position and religious faith. Although the pattern and style of the essays in this book might excuse this defect, I was afraid that some of my readers would find it difficult to grasp the (...) main themes of thought in the book. Therefore, I wanted to write an article to compensate a bit for this shortcoming. Second, for many years, in teaching courses on Chinese or Western philosophy, I have been used to following the general lecturing method of university professors who stress the objective introduction of philosophical doctrines to enrich students' knowledge. (shrink)