This article seeks to draw out the links between systems thinking and the philosophy of John Macmurray. In fact, while systems theory is a growing trend in a number of disciplines, including counselling and psychotherapy, the narrative describes its ancient roots. Macmurray’s insistence that humans exist as interdependent rather than independent beings is supported by systems theory. Moreover, Macmurray’s critique of institutionalized religion and his favouring of inclusive religious community is akin to a model of spirituality that, in positive psychology, (...) is conceived of as an open system. (shrink)
It’s a commonplace that Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke draws his policies from Milton Friedman and Anna Schwartz’s A Monetary History of the United States. With that in mind, this article establishes five points. First, contrary to conventional wisdom, Friedman and Schwartz merely insinuate their claim the Fed caused the Depression in MH. Second, their criticisms of Fed policy during the Depression, which turn on its refusal to adopt open market purchases, repudiate Friedman’s famed libertarianism and market fundamentalism. Third, Friedman (...) and Schwartz don’t refute the practical objections of bankers who opposed OMPs in the 1930s. Consequently, Bernanke’s policies for addressing the financial crisis risk doing precisely what Friedman’s targets warned against—encouraging financial speculation without addressing problems of unemployment. Fourth, Friedman and Schwartz’s prescriptions entail a neoliberal, not a libertarian, state, one governed by technocrats and answerable to financial markets. Finally, what accounts for and unifies Friedman’s contradictions is the beneficiary—finance. (shrink)
How can mental properties bring about physical effects, as they seem to do, given that the physical realizers of the mental goings-on are already sufficient to cause these effects? This question gives rise to the problem of mental causation (MC) and its associated threats of causal overdetermination, mental causal exclusion, and mental causal irrelevance. Some (e.g., Cynthia and Graham Macdonald, and Stephen Yablo) have suggested that understanding mental-physical realization in terms of the determinable/determinate relation (henceforth, 'determination') provides the key (...) to solving the problem of MC: if mental properties are determinables of their physical realizers, then (since determinables and determinates are distinct, yet don't causally compete) all three threats may be avoided. Not everyone agrees that determination can do this good work, however. Some (e.g., Douglas Ehring, Eric Funkhauser, and Sven Walter) object that mental-physical realization can't be determination, since such realization lacks one or other characteristic feature of determination. I argue that on a proper understanding of the features of determination key to solving the problem of MC these arguments can be resisted. (shrink)
Philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein had an enormous influence on twentieth-century philosophy even though only one of his works, the famous Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, was published in his lifetime. Beyond this publication the impact of his thought was mainly conveyed to a small circle of students through his lectures at Cambridge University. Fortunately, many of his ideas have survived in both the dictations that were subsequently published, and the notes taken by his students, among them Alice Ambrose and the late Margaret Macdonald, (...) from 1932 to 1935. These notes, now edited by Professor Ambrose, are here published, and they shed much light on Wittgenstein's philosophical development. Among the topics considered are the meaning of a word and its relation to common usage, rules of grammar and their relation to fact, the grammar of first person statements, language games, and the nature of philosophy. This volume is indispensable to any serious discussion of Wittgenstein's work. (shrink)
Examination is made of a range of cyborg solutions to bodily problems due to damage, but here with particular reference to aging. Both technological and animal implants, transplants and prosthetic devices are phenomenologically analyzed. The resultant trade-off phenomena are compared to popular culture technofantasies and desires and finally to human attitudes toward mortality and contingency. The parallelism of resistance to contingent existence and to becoming a cyborg is noted.
Beginning with an overview of Hume's life and work, Don Garrett introduces in clear and accessible style the central aspects of Hume's thought. These include Hume's lifelong exploration of the human mind; his theories of inductive inference and causation; skepticism and personal identity; moral and political philosophy; aesthetics; and philosophy of religion. The final chapter considers the influence and legacy of Hume's thought today. Throughout, Garrett draws on and explains many of Hume's central works, including his Treatise of Human Nature (...) , Enquiries Concerning Human Understanding , and Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion . Hume is essential reading not only for students of philosophy, but anyone in the humanities and social sciences and beyond seeking an introduction to Hume's thought. (shrink)
Self-knowledge is the focus of considerable attention from philosophers: Knowing Our Own Minds gives a much-needed overview of current work on the subject, bringing together new essays by leading figures. Knowledge of one's own sensations, desires, intentions, thoughts, beliefs, and other attitudes is characteristically different from other kinds of knowledge: it has greater immediacy, authority, and salience. The contributors examine philosophical questions raised by the distinctive character of self-knowledge, relating it to knowledge of other minds, to rationality and agency, externalist (...) theories of psychological content, and knowledge of language. Together these original, stimulating, and closely interlinked essays demonstrate the special relevance of self-knowledge to a broad range of issues in epistemology, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of language. (shrink)
At the intersection of metaphysics and social theory, this book presents and examines Adorno's unusual concept of possibility and aims to answer how we are to articulate the possibility of a redeemed life without lapsing into a vague and naïve utopianism.
It is widely believed that Hume often wrote carelessly and contradicted himself, and that no unified, sound philosophy emerges from his writings. Don Garrett demonstrates that such criticisms of Hume are without basis. Offering fresh and trenchant solutions to longstanding problems in Hume studies, Garrett's penetrating analysis also makes clear the continuing relevance of Hume's philosophy.
Book Symposium on Don Ihde’s Expanding Hermeneutics: Visualism in Science Content Type Journal Article Category Book Symposium Pages 1-22 DOI 10.1007/s13347-011-0060-5 Authors Jan Kyrre Berg Olsen Friis, University of Copenhagen, Nørre Farimagsgade 5 A, Room 10.0.27, 1014 Copenhagen, Denmark Larry A. Hickman, The Center for Dewey Studies, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Carbondale, IL 62901, USA Robert Rosenberger, School of Public Policy, Georgia Institute of Technology, DM Smith Building, 685 Cherry Street, Atlanta, GA 30332-0345, USA Robert C. Scharff, University of New (...) Hampshire, Durham, NH 03824-3574, USA Don Ihde, Stony Brook University, Harriman Hall 221, Stony Brook, NY 11794-3750, USA Journal Philosophy & Technology Online ISSN 2210-5441 Print ISSN 2210-5433. (shrink)
_Varieties of Things: Foundations of Contemporary Metaphysics_ is about some of the most fundamental kinds of things that there are; the things that we encounter in everyday experience. A book about the things that we encounter in everyday experience. Contains a thorough and accessible discussion of the nature and aims of metaphysics. Examines a wide range of ontological categories, including both particulars and universals. Mounts a forceful and persuasive case for anti-reductionism.
The Liar Paradox is a philosophical bogyman. It refuses to die, despite everything that philosophers have done to kill it. Sometimes the attacks on it seem little more than expressions of positivist petulance, as when the Liar sentence is said to be nonsense or meaningless. Sometimes the attacks are based on administering to the Liar sentence arbitrary if not unfair tests for admitting of truth or falsity that seem designed expressly to keep it from qualifying. Some philosophers have despaired of (...) ever beating the Liar; so concerned have they been about the threat posed by the Liar that they have introduced legislation to exclude the Liar sentence and anything like it. (shrink)
Margaret MacDonald (1907–56) was a central figure in the history of early analytic philosophy in Britain due to both her editorial work as well as her own writings. While her later work on aesthetics and political philosophy has recently received attention, her early writings in the 1930s present a coherent and, for its time, strikingly original blend of common-sense and scientific philosophy. In these papers, MacDonald tackles the central problems of philosophy of her day: verification, the problem of (...) induction, and the relationship between philosophical and scientific method. MacDonald’s philosophy of science starts from the principle that we should carefully analyse the elements of scientific practice (particularly its temporal features) and the ways that scientists describe that practice. That is, she applies the techniques of ordinary language philosophy to actual scientific language. MacDonald shows how ‘scientific common-sense’ is inconsistent with both of the dominant schools of philosophy of her day. Bringing MacDonald back into the story of analytic philosophy corrects the impression that in early analytic philosophy, there are fundamental dichotomies between the style of Moore and Wittgenstein, on the one hand, and the Vienna Circle on the other. (shrink)
Rivka Weinberg advances an error theory of ultimate meaning with three parts: (1) a conceptual analysis, (2) the claim that the extension of the concept is empty, and (3) a proposed fitting response, namely being very, very sad. Weinberg’s conceptual analysis of ultimate meaning involves two features that jointly make it metaphysically impossible, namely (i) the separateness of activities and valued ends, and (ii) the bounded nature of human lives. Both are open to serious challenges. We offer an internalist alternative (...) to (i) and a relational alternative to (ii). We then draw out implications for (2) and conclude with reasons to be cheerful about the prospects of a meaningful life. (shrink)
Only a fool would attempt to discuss the morality of strikes in twenty-five pages or less, and even he will fail. For one thing he can be sure in advance that whatever conclusions he might come to will be ridiculed as outrageous, prejudiced or self-serving by one party or the other. There is, in particular, the accusation that the attempt to discuss in moral terms what is essentially a political issue, is itself an exercise in bourgeois politics disguised as morals, (...) their morals but not ours. But there is also, and more worrying to my mind, the sheer complexity of the issues. This complexity is, however, simply unmanageable in the space available, and I have gone instead for the simple story, in the hope that the essentials will stand out that much more clearly. Whether I have got the right essentials, whether the elegance of the picture compensates for its lack of realism, is something that will have to emerge. (shrink)
This essay is a meditation on Wittgenstein's injunction to ‘look and see’, especially when it is applied to the debate over theological realism. John Cook thinks that the injunction should be followed in metaphysics and epistemology, something he believes that Wittgenstein himself did not do. I am inclined to think that Cook is right about this, even though I am not persuaded by him that Wittgenstein goes wrong because he was committed to Neutral Monism. Interestingly, Cook thinks that there is (...) no need to adopt the look-and-see approach when it comes to the philosophy of religion, and this paper tries to show why he is wrong to think so. (shrink)
_Expanding Hermeneutics_ examines the development of interpretation theory, emphasizing how science in practice involves and implicates interpretive processes. Ihde argues that the sciences have developed a sophisticated visual hermeneutics that produces evidence by means of imaging, visual displays, and visualizations. From this vantage point, Ihde demonstrates how interpretation is built into technologies and instruments.
When an abortion is performed, someone dies. Are we killing an innocent human person? Widespread disagreement exists. However, it’s not necessary to establish personhood in order to establish the wrongness of abortion: a substantial chance of personhood is enough. We defend The Don’t Risk Homicide Argument: abortions are wrong after 10 weeks gestation because they substantially and unjustifiably risk homicide, the unjust killing of an innocent person. Why 10 weeks? Because the cumulative evidence establishes a substantial chance (a more than (...) 1 in 5 chance) that preborn humans are persons around this stage of development. We submit evidence from our bad track record, widespread disagreement about personhood (after 10 weeks gestation), problems with theories of personhood, the similarity between preborn humans and newborn babies, gestational age miscalculations, and the common intuitive responses of women to their pregnancies and miscarriages. Our argument is cogent because it bypasses the stalemate over preborn personhood and rests on common ground rather than contentious metaphysics. It also strongly suggests that society must do more to protect preborn humans. We discuss its practical implications for fetal pain relief, social policy, and abortion law. (shrink)
Technology's impact on and implications for the social, ethical, political, and cultural dimensions of our world must be seriously considered and addressed. Philosophy of Technology is a clear introduction to one of philosophy's newest issues. Don Ihde critically examines the impact of technological developments on various cultures throughout history-from the earliest feats of engineering and architecture to the cutting-edge developments in artificial intelligence- with an aim to understanding the human implications within a world technological culture. Using a wide variety of (...) concrete examples and illustrations, including artificial intelligence, robotics, and nuclear energy, the author looks at both the current situation and future directions. In a final chapter, he takes the position that the foundational concern for the twenty-first century is the global environment, followed closely by multiculturality and its effect on technoculture, the future of warfare, and the distribution of wealth in a world economy. Special Features Provides an introduction to the best and most recent literature on the subject Places the philosophy of technology within the overall project of philosophy Provides a clear and comprehensive overview of the main issue in the field Promotes understanding of the special role of philosophical criticism Contains a wealth of often humorous and highly imaginative examples that have become the hallmark of this author. (shrink)
Teleosemantics seeks to explain meaning and other intentional phenomena in terms of their function in the life of the species. This volume of new essays from an impressive line-up of well-known contributors offers a valuable summary of the current state of the teleosemantics debate.
In exploring this tradition of philosophical reflection on the nature of goodness, the twelve essays in this book (all but two published here for the first time) present some of the best recent historical scholarship in...
Relaxed realists hold that there are deep differences between moral truths and the truths studied by the empirical sciences, but they deny that these differences raise troubling metaphysical or epistemological questions about moral truths. On this view, although features such as causal inefficacy, perceptual inaccessibility, and failure to figure in the best explanations of our empirical beliefs would raise pressing skeptical concerns were they claimed to characterize some aspect of physical reality, the same is not true when it comes to (...) the moral domain. This chapter raises some doubts about this general picture of morality and some prominent ways of defending it. First, it takes up a comparison that is frequently invoked by relaxed realists, and one on which they often place a great deal of weight: a comparison between irreducibly normative properties and truths on the one hand, and mathematical properties and truths on the other. It argues that this comparison is much less favorable to the relaxed realist’s cause than is often thought. It then offers an extended critique of a particularly vigorous and sustained presentation of relaxed realism: that offered by Ronald Dworkin in Justice for Hedgehogs. (shrink)
This volume provides an introduction to and review of key contemporary debates concerning connectionism, and the nature of explanation and methodology in cognitive psychology. The first debate centers on the question of whether human cognition is best modeled by classical or by connectionist architectures. The second centres on the question of the compatibility between folk, or commonsense, psychological explanation and explanations based on connectionist models of cognition. Each of the two sections includes a classic reading along with important responses, and (...) concludes with a specially commissioned reply by the main contributor. The editorial introductions provide a comprehensive survey and map through the debates. (shrink)
There are better and worse ways to blame others. Likewise, there are better and worse ways to blame yourself. And though there is an ever-expanding literature on the norms that govern our blaming practices, relatively little attention has been paid to the norms that govern expressions of self-blame. In this essay, I argue that when we blame ourselves, we ought not do so privately. Rather, we should, ceteris paribus, express our self-blame to those we have wronged. I then explore how (...) this norm can contribute to our understanding of the ethics of self-blame as well as the nature of blameworthiness itself. (shrink)
In this book MacDonald guides his reader through Luke-Acts from beginning to end to identify and interpret the author’s imitations of classical Greek poetry, arguing that Luke’s two-volume work was a prose epic to provide his readers with a foundation myth for the new social reality that the Christian Church had become.