Abstract: In chapter 15 of A Materialist Theory of the Mind, D.M.Armstrong offers an account of what he calls “the biological value of introspection”, namely, that “without information…about the current state of our minds, purposive trains mental activity would be impossible.” This paper examines and assesses Armstrong’s “Just-so story about introspective consciousness”—as W.G.Lycan later called it. One moral will be that appreciating this aspect of Armstrong’s view blurs the difference between his own perceptual model of introspection, and (...) the anti-perceptual models advanced by such critics as Sydney Shoemaker . (shrink)
by D. M. Armstrong In the history of the discussion of the problem of universals, G. F. Stout has an honoured, and special. place. For the Nominalist, meaning by that term a philosopher who holds that existence of repeatables - kinds, sorts, type- and the indubitable existence of general terms, is a problem. The Nominalist's opponent, the Realist, escapes the Nominalist's difficulty by postulating universals. He then faces difficulties of his own. Is he to place these universals in a (...) special realm? Or is he to bring them down to earth: perhaps turning them into repeatable properties of particulars, and repeatable relations between universals? Whichever solution he opts for, there are well-known difficulties about how particulars stand to these universals. Under these circumstances the Nominalist may make an important con cession to the Realist, a concession which he can make without abandoning his Nominalism. He may concede that metaphysics ought to recognize that particulars have properties and are related by relations. But, he can maintain, these properties and relations are particulars, not universals. Nor, indeed, is such a position entirely closed to the Realist. A Realist about universals may, and some Realists do, accept particularized properties and relations in addition to universals. As Dr. Seargent shows at the beginning of his book. a doctrine of part icularized properties and relations has led at least a submerged existence from Plato onwards. The special, classical. (shrink)
Although the philosophical systems of G. W. Leibniz and David Lewis both feature possible worlds, the ways in which their systems are similar and dissimilar are ultimately surprising. At first glance, Leibniz’s modal metaphysics might strike us as one of the most contemporarily relevant aspects of his system. But I clarify in this paper major interpretive problems that result from understanding Leibniz’s system in terms of contemporary views. Specifically, I argue that Leibniz rejects the inference that if something is (...) possible, it therefore occurs in some possible world. This discussion highlights how Leibniz’s account of individual substance constrains his modal theorizing and produces fatalistic threats. I then make an unexpected connection between Leibniz’s and Lewis’s systems by showing that Leibniz’s treatment of fatalism bears similarities to the response Lewis gives to the fatalist when considering the paradoxes of time travel. (shrink)
In 1901 Russell had envisaged the new analytic philosophy as uniquely systematic, borrowing the methods of science and mathematics. A century later, have Russell’s hopes become reality? David Lewis is often celebrated as a great systematic metaphysician, his influence proof that we live in a heyday of systematic philosophy. But, we argue, this common belief is misguided: Lewis was not a systematic philosopher, and he didn’t want to be. Although some aspects of his philosophy are systematic, mainly his pluriverse (...) of possible worlds and its many applications, that systematicity was due to the influence of his teacher Quine, who really was an heir to Russell. Drawing upon Lewis’s posthumous papers and his correspondence as well as the published record, we show that Lewis’s non- Quinean influences, including G.E. Moore and D.M. Armstrong, led Lewis to an anti- systematic methodology which leaves each philosopher’s views and starting points to his or her own personal conscience. (shrink)
Once upon a time, at an examination for Fellowships at All Souls, there was a three-hour essay paper. When the eager candidates turned over their question-papers, on the reverse they found a blank expanse of whiteness with one little word in the centre for them to write about: the word was ‘SIN’.
This edition of G. E. Moore's notes taken at Wittgenstein's seminal Cambridge lectures in the early 1930s provides, for the first time, an almost verbatim record of those classes. The presentation of the notes is both accessible and faithful to their original manuscripts, and a comprehensive introduction and synoptic table of contents provide the reader with essential contextual information and summaries of the topics in each lecture. The lectures form an excellent introduction to Wittgenstein's middle-period thought, covering a broad range (...) of philosophical topics, ranging from core questions in the philosophy of language, mind, logic, and mathematics, to illuminating discussions of subjects on which Wittgenstein says very little elsewhere, including ethics, religion, aesthetics, psychoanalysis, and anthropology. The volume also includes a 1932 essay by Moore critiquing Wittgenstein's conception of grammar, together with Wittgenstein's response. A companion website offers access to images of the entire set of source manuscripts. (shrink)
In this new introduction to a classic philosophical text, David Stern examines Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations. He gives particular attention to both the arguments of the Investigations and the way in which the work is written, and especially to the role of dialogue in the book. While he concentrates on helping the reader to arrive at his or her own interpretation of the primary text, he also provides guidance to the unusually wide range of existing interpretations, and to the reasons (...) why the Investigations have inspired such a diversity of readings. Following closely the text of the Investigations and meant to be read alongside it, this survey is accessible to readers with no previous background in philosophy. It is well-suited to university-level courses on Wittgenstein, but can also be read with profit by students in other disciplines. (shrink)
In this compelling book, a well-known social psychologist asks why, in an era of great material wealth, America suffers from such a disturbing array of social problems that reflect a deep spiritual poverty. Illustrations.
In this fascinating new collection of essays, contemporary historians examine the ways earlier historians have framed, written, and "made" the Jewish past. Probing the ideology and methodology of their professional predecessors, American and Israeli historians offer new perspectives on some of the central figures of twentieth-century Jewish historiography, including Gershom Scholem, S. D. Goitein, Yitzhak Baer, Elias Bickermann, and Cecil Roth, as well as the Israeli "New Historians." Although the lives and work of these scholars differ in many ways, Jewish (...) historians have recurrently confronted the challenges posed by assimilation, antisemitism, and various forms of nationalism. Through their critical examinations of the construction of the Jewish past, the contributors to this volume develop important insights into current attitudes toward the dominant canons and ideals of historical scholarship and the future of historiography. They shine new light on the formation of a historical worldview and the "making" of history. (shrink)
Respect for autonomy has become a fundamental principle in human research ethics. Nonetheless, this principle and the associated process of obtaining informed consent do have limitations. This can lead to some groups, many of them vulnerable, being left understudied. This book considers these limitations and contributes through legal and philosophical analyses to the search for viable approaches to human research ethics. It explores the limitations of respect for autonomy and informed consent both in law and through the examination of cases (...) where autonomy is lacking (infants), diminished (addicts), and compromised (low socio-economic status). It examines alternative and complementary concepts to overcome the limits of respect for autonomy, including beneficence, dignity, virtue, solidarity, non-exploitation, vulnerability and self-ownership. It takes seriously the importance of human relationality and community in qualifying, tempering and complementing autonomy to achieve the ultimate end of human research - the good of humankind. (shrink)
Wittgenstein's 'middle period' is often seen as a transitional phase connecting his better-known early and later philosophies. The fifteen essays in this volume focus both on the distinctive character of his teaching and writing in the 1930s, and on its pivotal importance for an understanding of his philosophy as a whole. They offer wide-ranging perspectives on the central issue of how best to identify changes and continuities in his philosophy during those years, as well as on particular topics in the (...) philosophy of mind, religion, ethics, aesthetics, and the philosophy of mathematics. The volume will be valuable for all who are interested in this formative period of Wittgenstein's development. (shrink)
Examining the significance of Kant's account of "rational faith," this study argues that he profoundly revises his account of the human will and the moral philosophy of it in his later religious writings.
The paper maps out and responds to some of the main areas of disagreement over the nature of Wittgenstein’s philosophy: (1) Between defenders of a “two Wittgensteins” reading (which draws a sharp distinction between early and late Wittgenstein) and the opposing “one Wittgenstein” interpretation. (2) Among “two-Wittgensteins” interpreters as to when the later philosophy emerged, and over the central difference between early and late Wittgenstein. (3) Between those who hold that Wittgenstein opposes only past philosophy in order to do philosophy (...) better and those who hold that Wittgenstein aimed to bring an end to philosophy and teach us to get by without a replacement. It is shown that each of these debates depends on some deeply un-Wittgensteinian, and quite mistaken, assumptions. It is concluded that Wittgenstein’s most polished writing, most notably in Philosophical Investigations I §§ 1–425, is best understood as a kind of Pyrrhonism which aims to subvert philosophical theorizing, by means of a polyphonic dialogue. Because this delicate balance between philosophical questions and their dissolution is not achieved in most of his other published and unpublished writings, we should be very cautious when using the theories and methods we find in those other writings as a guide to reading the Philosophical Investigations. (shrink)
The "standard account" of Wittgenstein’s relations with the Vienna Circle is that the early Wittgenstein was a principal source and inspiration for the Circle’s positivistic and scientific philosophy, while the later Wittgenstein was deeply opposed to the logical empiricist project of articulating a "scientific conception of the world." However, this telegraphic summary is at best only half-true and at worst deeply misleading. For it prevents us appreciating the fluidity and protean character of their philosophical dialogue. In retrospectively attributing clear-cut positions (...) to Wittgenstein and his interlocutors, it is very easy to read back our current understanding of familiar distinctions into a time when those terms were used in a much more open-ended way. The paper aims to to provide a broader perspective on this debate, starting from the protagonists’ understanding of their respective positions. Too often, the programmatic statements about the nature of their work that are repeated in manifestoes, introductions, and elementary textbooks have occupied center stage in the subsequent secondary literature. Consequently, I focus on a detailed examination of a turning point in their relationship. That turning point is Wittgenstein's charge, in the summer of 1932, that a recently published paper of Carnap's, "Physicalistic Language as the Universal Language of Science", made such extensive and unacknowledged use of Wittgenstein's own ideas that Wittgenstein would, as he put it in a letter to Schlick, "soon be in a situation where my own work shall be considered merely as a reheated version or plagiarism of Carnap’s." While the leading parties in this dispute shared a basic commitment to the primacy of physicalistic language, and the view that all significant languages are translatable, there was a remarkable lack of mutual understanding between them, and deep disagreement about the nature of the doctrines they disputed. Three quarters of a century later, we are so much more conscious of the differences that separated them than the points on which they agreed that it takes an effort of historical reconstruction to appreciate why Wittgenstein once feared that his own work would be regarded as a pale shadow of Carnap’s. (shrink)
Ludwig Wittgenstein's treatment of private language has received more attention than any other aspect of his philosophy. Yet, for more than fifty years, a remarkably self-contained exegetical tradition has defined the terms of debate and the principal positions that are discussed. Orthodox interpreters hold that the proof that a private language is impossible turns on showing it is ruled out by some set of systematic philosophical commitments about logic, meaning, and knowledge. Leading candidates for this ground on which the argument (...) depends have included the analysis of concepts, the grammar of our everyday language, the logic of criteria, or the nature of our rule-following, practical activity, or form of life. This article introduces an alternative interpretive tradition, which not only rejects the orthodox methodology, but also rejects the presupposition that Wittgenstein's principal aim is to provide a deductive proof that the idea of a private language leads to contradiction. Finally, it examines some of the leading readings of Philosophical Investigations §258, the passage most frequently discussed by orthodox interpreters. -/- . (shrink)
The title of this chapter is borrowed from John McDowell's ‘One strand in the private language argument’ (1998b). In that paper, he argues that much of what is best in Wittgenstein's discussion of private language can be seen as a development of the Kantian insight that there is no such thing as an unconceptualized experience - that even the most elementary sensation must have a conceptual aspect. On McDowell's view, a sensation is a ‘perfectly good something - an object, if (...) you like, of concept involving awareness. What is a nothing … is the supposed pre-conceptual this that is supposed to ground our conceptualizations’ (1998b: 283). McDowell's Sellarsian objections to the notion of the Given in that paper are an insightful and illuminating development of Wittgenstein's discussion of the topic. However, McDowell's recoil from the notion of an unconceptualized experience, a conception of sensation on which it turns out to be ‘simply a nothing’ (ibid.), leads him to reject Wittgenstein's cryptic proposal that a sensation is ‘not a something, but not a nothing either’ (PI 304). Instead, McDowell embraces the opposed view on which every experience is a ‘perfectly good something’ (1998b: 283), something of one kind or another, for it must be possible to bring it under the appropriate concepts. What McDowell misses here, I believe, is that a central aim of Wittgenstein's discussion of our supposed ability to refer to inner objects is to attack the very idea of ‘pre-linguistic awareness … as a substratum on which the capacity for concept-carried awareness is constructed’ (ibid.). (shrink)
Semiotic objections to markets urge us not to place a good on the market because of the message that doing so would send. Brennan and Jaworski reject them on the grounds that either the contingent semiotics of a market can be changed or the weakness of semiotic reasons allows them to be ignored. The scope of their argument neglects the impure semiotic objections that claim that the message a market sends causes, constitutes, or involves a nonsemiotic wrong. These are the (...) most compelling class of semiotic objections and are the kind actually advanced in the literature. Rather than focusing on the necessity or contingency of a market's semiotics, we should instead attend to a semiotic objection's most important feature: its purity or impurity. (shrink)
Human Dignity in Contemporary Ethics develops a holistic and relevant understanding of human dignity for ethics today. Whilst critics of the concept of human dignity call for its dismissal, and many of its defenders rehearse the same old arguments, this book offers an alternative set of methodological assumptions on which to base a revitalized and practical understanding of human dignity, which at the same time overcomes the challenges that the concept currently faces. The Component Dimensions of Human Dignity model enables (...) human dignity to serve both as a descriptive category that explains moral choices, and as a normative criterion that helps to evaluate moral behaviour. A consideration of two cases--violent crime and physician-assisted suicide--demonstrates how the model offers a way to avoid the pitfalls of both moralism and moral relativism, while still leaving space for relativity in ethics. By using an approach that should be acceptable to both religious and secular perspectives alike, this book offers a unique way out of the 'dignity talk' that currently plagues ethics. (shrink)
This chapter examines the explicit and implicit roles that the concept of beneficence plays in the guidelines that govern biomedical research involving humans. We suggest that the role beneficence is actually playing in the guidelines is more comprehensive than is commonly assumed. The broader conceptualisation of beneficence proposed here clarifies the relationship of beneficence to respect for autonomy. It does this by showing how respect for autonomy is at the service of beneficence rather than in tension with it.
Since the end of World War II, most guidelines governing human research seem to have relied on the principle of respect for autonomy as a key, though not sole, criterion in assessing the moral validity of research involving human participants.1 One explanation for this apparent reliance on respect for autonomy may be that respect for autonomy, made effective through the practice of obtaining informed consent, functions as a useful proxy when dealing with competent adults for the more complex principle of (...) respect for human dignity that underpins much of the moral discourse in this area. If this explanation holds, then assessment of the moral licitness of research involving human individuals whose autonomy is limited in some way requires a deeper analysis of the ‘thicker’ concepts of human dignity, since we cannot rely on respect for autonomy to do the work of respect for human dignity where autonomy (understood as a capacity to consent based on adequate information) is not present, is limited or is compromised. (shrink)
This collection of original essays on the theory of tort law brings together a number of the world's leading legal philosophers and tort scholars to examine the latest thinking about its rationales and current development. The contributions here range from law and economics to the latest in rights-based theories. The ever-engaging topic of causation is the subject of one cluster of essays, while other clusters deal with remedies, with the tort/contract divide, and with strict and other special forms of liability.