This book is a collection of secondary essays on America's most important philosophic thinkers—statesmen, judges, writers, educators, and activists—from the colonial period to the present. Each essay is a comprehensive introduction to the thought of a noted American on the fundamental meaning of the American regime.
This volume provides a balanced set of reviews which introduce the central topics in the philosophy of time. This is the first introductory anthology on the subject to appear for many years; the contributors are distinguished, and two of the essays are specially written for this collection. In their introduction, the editors summarize the background to the debate, and show the relevance of issues in the philosophy of time for other branches of philosophy and for science. Contributors include J.M.E. McTaggart, (...) Arthur N. Prior, D.H. Mellor, Sydney Shoemaker, Graeme Forbes, Lawrence Sklar, Michael Dummett, David Lewis, W.H. Newton-Smith, and Anthony Quinton. (shrink)
Remarks to the effect that a correct answer depends upon a correct question —that from a misleading question there can result only a misleading answer—are common today. In fact, one might suspect that such common concentration on finding the right questions has something to do with what seems to be an uncommon lack of answers. This concentration on the importance of asking the right questions can be applied to the interpretation of biblical literature. For here, certainly, the questions asked are (...) often decisive. They guide the inquiry by setting the terms of the search and, in this sense, they determine at least the kind of answers that will be given. Further, they often disclose the presuppositions with which one is working. (shrink)
In this article, I respond to David McIvor’s and Lars Rensmann’s discussion of my recent book, The Politics of Repressed Guilt: The Tragedy of Austrian Silence (2018, Edinburgh University Press). Both invited me to clarify my use of Arendt in my conception of embodied reflective judgment. I argue for a stronger connection between judgment and emotions than Arendt because one can effectively shut down critical thinking if one uses defense mechanisms to repress feelings of guilt. In response to McIvor, (...) I discuss the idea of the “subject-in-outline” and “embodied reflective spaces” to overcome the guilt/defense complex to engender a reparative politics of justice. Finally, in response to Rensmann, I point out that the lingering culture of repressed guilt helps us explain the general conditions that contributed to the rise of the far and extremist right in Austria, which I develop further in my new book Analyzing the Far Right. (shrink)
While a number of classical pragmatists crafted their philosophies in conjunction with a careful study of Hegel's works, others saw their philosophies emerge in antagonism with proponents of Hegel. In this paper, we offer an instance of the latter case. Namely, we show that the impetus for Charles S. Peirce's early articulation and avowal of realism (the claim that some generals are real) was William Torrey Harris's claim that the formal laws of logic lacked universal validity. According to Harris, the (...) leading representative of Hegelism in the United States, the universal validity of the laws of logic rested on a nominalistic metaphysics that a Hegelian-realism showed to be false. In response to this charge, we articulate how Peirce's attempt to prove the universal validity of the laws of logic resulted in avowing a realism that differed from both nominalism and Harris's Hegelian-realism. (shrink)
Kenneth Goodpaster has criticized ethicists like Feinberg and Frankena for too narrowly circumscribing the range of moral considerability, urging instead that “nothing short of the condition of being alive” is a satisfactory criterion. Goodpaster overlooks at least one crucial objection: that his own “condition of being alive” may aIso be too narrow a criterion of moral considerability, since “being in existence” is at least as plausible and nonarbitrary a criterion as is Goodpaster’s. I show that each of the arguments that (...) Goodpaster musters in support of his criterion can be used equally weIl to bolster “being in existence” as a test of moral considerability. Moreover, I argue that “being in existence” appears to be a stronger criterion overall, since it is broader. Until or unless a fuller justification is forthcoming of “being alive” as a satisfactory criterion of moral considerability-a justification which must demonstrate that “mere things,” included under the condition of “being in existence,” do not deserve moral consideration--Goodpaster’sthesis is confronted with a serious problem. (shrink)
David Hume's writings on history, politics and philosophy have shaped thought to this day. His bold scepticism ranged from common notions of the 'self' to criticism of standard theistic proofs. He insisted on grounding understandings of popular religious beliefs in human psychology rather than divine revelation, and he aimed to disentangle philosophy from religion in order to allow the former to pursue its own ends. In this book, Professors David W Purdie and Peter S Fosl decipher some of (...) Hume's most challenging texts for the modern reader, while preserving the sharp intellect and undaunted nerve for which Hume is famous. Hume's spirit is brought alive for contemporary times and his writing is made accessible for its intended audience: the general public."-- Back cover. (shrink)
David Miller elegantly and provocatively reformulates critical rationalism—the revolutionary approach to epistemology advocated by Karl Popper—by answering its most important critics. He argues for an approach to rationality freed from the debilitating authoritarian dependence on reasons and justification. "Miller presents a particularly useful and stimulating account of critical rationalism. His work is both interesting and controversial... of interest to anyone with concerns in epistemology or the philosophy of science." —Canadian Philosophical Reviews.
The pathologist David Stark Murray was a founder and leading member of the Socialist Medical Association , an organization affiliated to the Labour Party and instrumental in shaping its health policy in the period up to 1945. Murray played a prominent role in the SMA as a member of its Executive Committee and as Editor of its journal MedicineToday and Tomorrow. This article examines Murray's popular writings about science during the interwar period, focusing on his emphasis (...) on the relationship between, on the one hand, scientific knowledge and scientific method; and, on the other, a socialized health service and a socialist society. (shrink)
David Miller is the foremost exponent of the purist critical rationalist doctrine and here presents his mature views, discussing the role that logic and argument play in the growth of knowledge, criticizing the common understanding of argument as an instrument of justification, persuasion or discovery and instead advocating the critical rationalist view that only criticism matters. Miller patiently and thoroughly undoes the damage done by those writers who attack critical rationalism by invoking the sterile mythology of induction and justification (...) that it seeks to sweep away. In addition his new material on the debate on verisimilitude is essential reading for all working in this field. (shrink)
This essay points to parallel criticisms made by Charles Peirce and Polanyi against the “critical method”or “method of doubt.” In an early set of essays and in later work, Peirce claimed that the Cartesian method of doubt is both philosophically bankrupt and useless because practitioners do not apply the method upon the criteria of doubting itself. Likewise, in his 1952 essay “The Stability of Beliefs” and in Personal Knowledge, Polanyi charges practitioners of the critical method with a failure to apply (...) the method rigorously enough. Polanyi contends that “critical” philosophers apply the method of doubt only to beliefs they find distasteful and rarely ever to the tacit beliefs that make doubt possible. (shrink)
Before the early 1990s, accounts of classical American philosophy paid relatively little attention to the work and intellectual contributions of women philosophers. However, as early as 1991, a number of contemporary feminist philosophers and historians began to devote more focused attention to women philosophers whose intellectual achievements had been marginalized or forgotten. One woman philosopher whose contributions have still gone unnoticed is that of American logician, mathematician, and color theorist Christine Ladd-Franklin. This paper argues that Ladd-Franklin's feminist efforts to increase (...) the opportunities for women in professional academia were influenced not only by her work as a woman scientist and her reading of feminist literature but also by her understanding of pragmatism and her interaction with Charles Peirce. Specifically, Ladd-Franklin's arguments to increase academic research positions for women and her criticisms of male-only scientific societies point out how discrimination on the basis of gender violates Peirce's first rule of reason that one ought not block the road to inquiry and expose the unscientific nature of gender discrimination by contrasting the pragmatic meaning of acquiring a doctorate with the institutional practice of barring women from making intellectual contributions by denying them professorial positions. (shrink)
One dimension of a comprehensive semantic and semiotic theory is its explanation of how a wide-variety of linguistic expressions designate singular objects. The bulk of scholarship on Peirce's theory of proper names has aligned his theory with the so called new theory of reference by drawing connections between proper names qua rhematic indexical legisigns and various aspects of Kripke's theory of names.2 Recent scholarship has navigated away from indexing Kripke-Peirce affinities and has begun the process of articulating a semiotic or (...) pragmatic theory of names that is distinctly Peircean. For example.. (shrink)
This paper articulates and defends a noncognitive, care-based view of identification, of what privileged psychic subset provides the source of self-determination in actions and attitudes. The author provides an extended analysis of "caring," and then applies it to debates between Frankfurtians, on the one hand, and Watsonians, on the other, about the nature of identification, then defends the view against objections.
Many philosophers have taken there to be an important relation between personal identity and several of our practical concerns (among them moral responsibility, compensation, and self-concern). I articulate four natural methodological assumptions made by those wanting to construct a theory of the relation between identity and practical concerns, and I point out powerful objections to each assumption, objections constituting serious methodological obstacles to the overall project. I then attempt to offer replies to each general objection in a way that leaves (...) the project intact, albeit significantly changed. Perhaps the most important change stems from the recognition that the practical concerns motivating investigation into personal identity turn out to be not univocal, as is typically thought, such that each of the different practical concerns may actually be related to personal identity in very different ways. (shrink)
In this paper, I attempt to show that the moral/conventional distinction simply cannot bear the sort of weight many theorists have placed on it for determining the moral and criminal responsibility of psychopaths. After revealing the fractured nature of the distinction, I go on to suggest how one aspect of it may remain relevant—in a way that has previously been unappreciated—to discussions of the responsibility of psychopaths. In particular, after offering an alternative explanation of the available data on psychopaths and (...) their judgments of various sorts of norm transgressions, I put forward a hybrid theory of their responsibility, suggesting how they might be criminally responsible, while nevertheless failing to meet the conditions for an important arena of moral responsibility. (shrink)
This is a comment on Tihamér Margitay’s “From Epistemology to Ontology,” where he criticizes Polanyi’s claim that there is a systematic correspondence between the levels of ontology and the levels of tacit knowing. Margitay contends that Polanyi supports this correspondence by appealing to a “purely ontological argument,” one which concludes that it is impossible to reduce machines to a singular, chemical-physical type, and criticizes this claim by pointing to industrial standards (machines that do reduce to singular physical-chemical type). I respond (...) to Margitay’s claim by distinguishing two different “purely ontological arguments” in Polanyi’s thought (one relying on the multi-realizability of a machine in different physical-chemical types, the other pointing to the inability of a purely physical-chemical ontology to account for the artificial shaping and functioning of machines). With these two arguments clarified, Margitay’s criticism by appealing to industrial standards loses much of its initial force. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to explore an hypothesis rather than draw any unassailable conclusions. I argue that there is a fundamental tension between the sub-Christian account of the “Three Stages” presented in the earlier pseudonymous writings and the explicitly Christian account presented in the Anti-Climacean and later acknowledged writings. The earlier version is that of a progress from spiritless “immediacy” toward more complete integrations of the self, culminating in authentic religious faith; while the later is that of a (...) regress from lesser to ever greater forms of spiritual peril, culminating in a disordered religiosity that vainly seeks to overthrow the established ecclesiastical order. Tracing the conflict between these two perspectives also enhances our understanding of the purpose underlying Kierkegaard’s project by suggesting the possibility that the authorship constitutes a literary confession of Kierkegaard’s own spiritual regress. (shrink)
This paper assesses a recent criticism of Michael Polanyi’s account of the origin of complex entities by Alicia Juarrero. According to Juarrero, Polanyi took higher-level complex entities like machines and organisms to come into existence through the imposition of external, top-down forces. This paper argues that while Polanyi took the emergence of machines to come about in such a way, Polanyi’s reading of 19th and early 20th-Century experimental embryology indicates his position is more sophisticated. Polanyi appears to have thought a (...) synthesis was possible between reductive-mechanical and holistic-vitalistic approaches in embryology and he appears to have relied on this synthesis in his account of the origin of complex organisms. While I argue that this synthesis is unclear, it suggests that Polanyi conceived of the emergence of organisms as the result of internal, complex, and non-deterministic processes. (shrink)
Take a hypothetical sequence of human beings ordered by height from tallest to shortest. Make sure there is no more than a difference of a millimeter between each person and make sure the tallest person is clearly tall and the shortest person is clearly not tall. Now consider the following argument: P1 A person of height n is tall ; P2 For any height n, if n is tall, then n–1mm is tall ; C Therefore, a person of height n (...) = 1mm is tall. P1 and P2 are intuitively true, C is intuitively false, yet the argument is deductively valid (the conclusion follows... (shrink)
Brimming with visual examples of concepts, derivation rules, and proof strategies, this introductory text is ideal for students with no previous experience in logic. Students will learn translation both from formal language into English and from English into formal language; how to use truth trees and truth tables to test propositions for logical properties; and how to construct and strategically use derivation rules in proofs.
This essay presents the use-first-and-investigate-later approach to technological use through two case studies: the atomic bomb in World War II and chemical defoliants during the Vietnam War. The methodology of UFAIL is as follows: despite limited understanding of an array of potential effects, technology users employ a commitment to ex post facto investigations of these effects. In generalizing these cases, the essay argues that failure to check rapid technological uptake will result in continued disaster and the abatement of the negative (...) consequences of UFAIL is a more tempered approach to the infiltration of technologies into society by rigorous and preemptive investigation into the potential effects of a technology. (shrink)
In our age of globalization, we need a theory of global management consistent with our common human nature. The place to begin in developing such a theory is the philosophy of traditional cultures. The article focuses on African philosophy and its fruitfulness for contributing to a theory of management consistent with African traditional cultures. It also looks briefly at the Confucian and Platonic-Aristotelian traditions and notes points of agreement with African traditions. It concludes that the needed theory of global management (...) should regard the firm as a community, not a collection of individuals, and should understand the purpose of management as promoting the common good. (shrink)
This is a comment on Tihamér Margitay’s “From Epistemology to Ontology,” where he criticizes Polanyi’s claim that there is a systematic correspondence between the levels of ontology and the levels of tacit knowing. Margitay contends that Polanyi supports this correspondence by appealing to a “purely ontological argument,” one which concludes that it is impossible to reduce machines to a singular, chemical-physical type, and criticizes this claim by pointing to industrial standards . I respond to Margitay’s claim by distinguishing two different (...) “purely ontological arguments” in Polanyi’s thought . With these two arguments clarified, Margitay’s criticism by appealing to industrial standards loses much of its initial force. (shrink)
The interest in and enthusiasm for urban agriculture in urban communities, the non-profit sector, and governmental institutions has grown exponentially over the past decade. Part of the appeal of UA is its potential to improve the civic health of a community, advancing what some call food democracy. Yet despite the increasing presence of the language of civic agriculture or food democracy, UA organizations and practitioners often still focus on practical, shorter-term projects in an effort both to increase local involvement and (...) to attract funding from groups focused on quantifiable deliverables. As such, it seems difficult to move beyond the rhetoric of food democracy towards significant forms of popular participation and deliberation within particular communities. In this paper we provide a theoretical framework—deep democracy—that helps to contextualize nascent attempts at civic agriculture or food democracy within a broader struggle for democratic practices and relationships. We argue that urban agriculture efforts are well positioned to help citizens cultivate lasting relationships across lines of difference and amidst significant power differentials—relationships that could form the basis of a community’s collective capacity to shape its future. We analyze the theory of deep democracy through recent experiences with UA in Denver, Colorado, and we identify ways in which UA can extend its reach and impact by focusing more consciously on its political or civic potential. (shrink)
Historically, nonclassical physics developed in three stages. First came a collection of ad hoc assumptions and then a cookbook of equations known as "quantum mechanics". The equations and their philosophical underpinnings were then collected into a model based on the mathematics of Hilbert space. From the Hilbert space model came the abstaction of "quantum logics". This book explores all three stages, but not in historical order. Instead, in an effort to illustrate how physics and abstract mathematics influence each other we (...) hop back and forth between a purely mathematical development of Hilbert space, and a physically motivated definition of a logic, partially linking the two throughout, and then bringing them together at the deepest level in the last two chapters. This book should be accessible to undergraduate and beginning graduate students in both mathematics and physics. The only strict prerequisites are calculus and linear algebra, but the level of mathematical sophistication assumes at least one or two intermediate courses, for example in mathematical analysis or advanced calculus. No background in physics is assumed. (shrink)