Some things are pervasive and yet elusive. If it can be agreed that the concept of my title and its instances are of this kind, then the observation may serve to justify the present enterprise. The elusiveness of authority is that so often pursued in philosophical enterprise, namely the repeated confident use of a general term by even the unsophisticated, accompanied by the Socratic puzzlement that sets in as soon as a rationale or account of this use is sought. Such (...) puzzlement in the case of the concept of authority is likely to provoke a Cephalitic reaction ). (shrink)
Colour has often been supposed to be a subjective property, a property to be analysed orretly in terms of the phenomenological aspects of human expereince. In contrast with subjectivism, an objectivist analysis of color takes color to be a property objects possess in themselves, independently of the character of human perceptual expereince. David Hilbert defends a form of objectivism that identifies color with a physical property of surfaces - their spectral reflectance. This analysis of color is shown to provide (...) a more adequate account of the features of human color vision than its subjectivist rivals. The author's account of colro also recognises that the human perceptual system provides a limited and idiosyncratic picture of the world. These limitations are shown to be consistent with a realist account of colour and to provide the necessary tools for giving an analysis of common sense knowledge of color phenomena. (shrink)
If you trained someone to emit a particular sound at the sight of something red, another at the sight of something yellow, and so on for other colors, still he would not yet be describing objects by their colors. Though he might be a help to us in giving a description. A description is a representation of a distribution in a space (in that of time, for instance).
In this paper, we examine the logics of essence and accident and attempt to ascertain the extent to which those logics are genuinely formalizing the concepts in which we are interested. We suggest that they are not completely successful as they stand. We diagnose some of the problems and make a suggestion for improvement. We also discuss some issues concerning definability in the formal language.
This is the first book to outline a basic philosophy of ecology using the standard categories of academic philosophy: metaphysics, axiology, epistemology, aesthetics, ethics, and political philosophy. The problems of global justice invariably involve ecological factors. Yet the science of ecology is itself imbued with philosophical questions. Therefore, studies in ecological justice, the sub-discipline of global justice that relates to the interaction of human and natural systems, should be preceded by the study of the philosophy of ecology. This book enables (...) the reader to access a philosophy of ecology and shows how this philosophy is inherently normative and provides tools for securing ecological justice. The moral philosophy of ecology directly addresses the root cause of ecological and environmental injustice: the violation of fundamental human rights caused by the inequitable distribution of the benefits and costs of industrialism. Philosophy of ecology thus has implications for human rights, pollution, poverty, unequal access to resources, sustainability, consumerism, land use, biodiversity, industrialization, energy policy, and other issues of social and global justice. This book offers an historical and interdisciplinary exegesis. The analysis is situated in the context of the Western intellectual tradition, and includes great thinkers in the history of ecological thinking in the West from the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities. Keller asks the big questions and surveys answers with remarkable detail. Here is an insightful analysis of contemporary, classical, and ancient thought, alike in the ecological sciences, the humanities, and economics, the roots and fruits of our concepts of nature and of being in the world. Keller is unexcelled in bridging the is/ought gap, bridging nature and culture, and in celebrating the richness of life, its pattern, process, and creativity on our wonderland Earth. Holmes Rolston, III University Distinguished Professor, Colorado State University Author of A New Environmental Ethics: The Next Millennium for Life on Earth Mentored by renowned ecologist Frank Golley and renowned philosopher Frederick Ferré, David Keller is well prepared to provide a deep history and a sweeping synthesis of the "idea of ecology"—including the metaphysical, epistemological, and ethical aspects of that idea, as well as the scientific. J. Baird Callicott University Distinguished Research Professor, University of North Texas Author of Thinking Like a Planet: The Land Ethic and the Earth Ethic. (shrink)
This paper proposes a new organizational metaphor, the ‘Biophilic Organization’, which aims to counter the bio-cultural disconnection of many organizations despite their espoused commitment to sustainability. This conceptual research draws on multiple disciplines such as evolutionary psychology and architecture to not only develop a diverse bio-cultural connection but to show how this connection tackles sustainability, in a holistic and systemic sense. Moreover, the paper takes an integrative view of sustainability, which effectively means that it embraces the different emergent tensions. Three (...) specific tensions are explored: efficiency versus resilience, organizational versus personal agendas and isomorphism versus institutional change. In order to illustrate how the Biophilic Organization could potentially provide a synthesis strategy for such tensions, healthcare examples are drawn from the emerging fields of Biophilic Design in Singapore and Generative Design in the U.S.A. Finally, an example is provided which highlights how a Taoist cultural context has impacted on a business leader in China, to illustrative the significance of a transcendent belief system to such a bio-cultural narrative. (shrink)
In their recent paper ‘Why lockdown of the elderly is not ageist and why levelling down equality is wrong’ Savulescu and Cameron attempt to argue the case for subjecting the ‘elderly’ to limits not imposed on other generations. We argue that selective lockdown of the elderly is unnecessary and cruel, as well as discriminatory, and that this group may suffer more than others in similar circumstances. Further, it constitutes an unjustifiable deprivation of liberty.
This is the best overview of Foucault's work to date. A principal architect of poststructuralism, Michel Foucault reshaped the varied disciplines of history, philosophy, literary theory, and social science. David Shumway has provided, for the nonspecialist, a systematic analysis of the works of Foucault that is both thorough and accessible. Shumway connects Foucault's various conceptual and linguistic techniques to the basic critical strategies and purpose of his philosophy.
1. Kierkegaard as theologian and the question of kenosis -- 2. The nature of kenotic Christology -- 3. Kierkegaard's knowledge of kenotic Christology -- 4. Kenosis in Philosophical fragments -- 5. Kenosis in Practice in Christianity -- 6. Kierkegaard's existential kenoticism.
A number of ways of taxonomizing human learning have been proposed. We examine the evidence for one such proposal, namely, that there exist independent explicit and implicit learning systems. This combines two further distinctions, (1) between learning that takes place with versus without concurrent awareness, and (2) between learning that involves the encoding of instances (or fragments) versus the induction of abstract rules or hypotheses. Implicit learning is assumed to involve unconscious rule learning. We examine the evidence for implicit learning (...) derived from subliminal learning, conditioning, artificial grammar learning, instrumental learning, and reaction times in sequence learning. We conclude that unconscious learning has not been satisfactorily established in any of these areas. The assumption that learning in some of these tasks (e.g., artificial grammar learning) is predominantly based on rule abstraction is questionable. When subjects cannot report the rules that govern stimulus selection, this is often because their knowledge consists of instances or fragments of the training stimuli rather than rules. In contrast to the distinction between conscious and unconscious learning, the distinction between instance and rule learning is a sound and meaningful way of taxonomizing human learning. We discuss various computational models of these two forms of learning. (shrink)
A number of ways of taxonomizing human learning have been proposed. We examine the evidence for one such proposal, namely, that there exist independent explicit and implicit learning systems. This combines two further distinctions, between learning that takes place with versus without concurrent awareness, and between learning that involves the encoding of instances versus the induction of abstract rules or hypotheses. Implicit learning is assumed to involve unconscious rule learning. We examine the evidence for implicit learning derived from subliminal learning, (...) conditioning, artificial grammar learning, instrumental learning, and reaction times in sequence learning. We conclude that unconscious learning has not been satisfactorily established in any of these areas. The assumption that learning in some of these tasks is predominantly based on rule abstraction is questionable. When subjects cannot report the “implicitly learned” rules that govern stimulus selection, this is often because their knowledge consists of instances or fragments of the training stimuli rather than rules. In contrast to the distinction between conscious and unconscious learning, the distinction between instance and rule learning is a sound and meaningful way of taxonomizing human learning. We discuss various computational models of these two forms of learning. (shrink)
Although the importance of literacy is widely acknowledged in society and remains at the top of the political agenda, writing has been slow to establish a place in the cognitive sciences. Olson argues that to understand the cognitive implications of literacy, it is necessary to see reading and writing as providing access to and consciousness of aspects of language, such as phonemes, words and sentences, that are implicit and unconscious in speech. Reading and writing create a system of metarepresentational concepts (...) that bring those features of language into consciousness as a subject of discourse. This consciousness of language is essential not only to acquiring literacy but also to the formation of systematic thought and rationality. The Mind on Paper is a compelling exploration of what literacy does for our speech and hence for our thought, and will be of interest to readers in developmental psychology, cognitive science, linguistics, and education. (shrink)
"A Workbook for Arguments" builds on Anthony Weston's "Rulebook for Arguments" to provide a complete textbook for a course in critical thinking or informal logic. "Workbook" includes: The entire text of "Rulebook," supplemented with extensive further explanations and exercises. Homework exercises adapted from a wide range of arguments from newspapers, philosophical texts, literature, movies, videos, and other sources. Practical advice to help students succeed when applying the "Rulebook's" rules to the examples in the homework exercises. Suggestions for further practice, outlining (...) activities that students can do by themselves or with classmates to improve their skills. Detailed instructions for in-class activities and take-home assignments designed to engage students. An appendix on mapping arguments, giving students a solid introduction to this vital skill in constructing complex and multi-step arguments and evaluating them. Model answers to odd-numbered problems, including commentaries on the strengths and weaknesses of selected sample answers and further discussion of some of the substantive intellectual, philosophical, or ethical issues they raise. (shrink)
In this paper, we argue that ‘Weak Modal Rationalism’, which is the view that ideal primary positive conceivability entails primary metaphysical possibility, is self-defeating. To this end, we outline two reductio arguments against ‘Weak Modal Rationalism’. The first reductio shows that, from supposing that ‘Weak Modal Rationalism’ is true, it follows that conceivability both is and is not conclusive evidence for possibility. The second reductio shows that, from supposing that ‘Weak Modal Rationalism’ is true, it follows that it is possible (...) that ‘Weak Modal Rationalism’ is necessarily false, and hence that ‘Weak Modal Rationalism’ is false. We then argue that adopting a weaker position according to which conceivability is merely prima facie evidence for possibility provides limited protection from our criticism of conceivability arguments. (shrink)
Understanding, as Descartes, Locke and Kant all insisted, is the primary 'faculty' of the mind; yet our modern sciences have been slow to advance a clear and testable account of what it means to understand, of children's acquisition of this concept and, in particular, how children come to ascribe understanding to themselves and others. By drawing together developmental and philosophical theories, this book provides a systematic account of children's concept of understanding and places understanding at the heart of children's 'theory (...) of mind'. Children's subjective awareness of their own minds, of what they think, depends on learning a language for ascribing mental states to themselves and others. This book will appeal to researchers in developmental psychology, cognitive science, education and philosophy who are interested in the cognitive and emotional development of children and in the more basic question of what it means to have a mind. (shrink)
A Textbook, with Readings, for Ethics and Contemporary Moral Issues courses -/- * Includes clear and comprehensive discussions by David Morrow of moral reasoning, ethical theory, and contemporary moral issues along with a thorough set of readings in these areas * Readings include both standards of moral theory and classic and contemporary sources in applied ethics from an uncommonly diverse set of authors; nearly one-third of the readings are authored by women *Offers coverage of standard contemporary moral issues along (...) with more cutting-edge topics like race, sex, and climate change *Illustrates aspects of moral reasoning using actual arguments from the applied ethics literature *Explains the use of analogical reasoning, thought experiments, and counterexamples in ethics *Includes dozens of detailed case studies drawn from real events, fiction, and film Incorporates Chinese and African ethics *Provides "guiding questions" to help students understand primary sources, discussion questions for each chapter and reading, and a detailed appendix on writing an ethics paper. (shrink)
There are serious reasons for accepting each of these propositions individually but there are apparently insurmountable difficulties with accepting all three of them simultaneously if we assume that color is a single property. 1) and 2) together seem to imply that there is some property which all organisms with color vision can see and 3) seems to imply that there can be no such property. If these implications really are valid then one or more of these propositions will have to (...) be rejected in spite of whatever reasons can be given for their apparent acceptability. Before going on to discuss possible resolutions of this apparent contradiction it is worth pointing out there our three propositions are not all of a kind. Proposition 1) is a metaphysical thesis about the ontological status of color and proposition 3) is an empirical thesis about what properties organisms with color vision are capable of detecting. If you accept 1) then 2) will appear to verge on the trivial, but if 1) is denied then the status of 2) will appear more problematic. In what follows I will have more to say about why we either should or should not accept all three of these propositions. (shrink)