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Douglas Ian Campbell
University of Canterbury
Douglas Campbell
Birkbeck College
  1. Plato's Theory of Reincarnation: Eschatology and Natural Philosophy.Douglas R. Campbell - 2022 - Review of Metaphysics 75 (4):643-665.
    This article concerns the place of Plato’s eschatology in his philosophy. I argue that the theory of reincarnation appeals to Plato due to its power to explain how non-human animals came to be. Further, the outlines of this theory are entailed by other commitments, such as that embodiment disrupts psychic functioning, that virtue is always rewarded and vice punished, and that the soul is immortal. I conclude by arguing that Plato develops a view of reincarnation as the chief tool that (...)
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  2. Self‐Motion and Cognition: Plato's Theory of the Soul.Douglas R. Campbell - 2021 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 59 (4):523-544.
    I argue that Plato believes that the soul must be both the principle of motion and the subject of cognition because it moves things specifically by means of its thoughts. I begin by arguing that the soul moves things by means of such acts as examination and deliberation, and that this view is developed in response to Anaxagoras. I then argue that every kind of soul enjoys a kind of cognition, with even plant souls having a form of Aristotelian discrimination (...)
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  3. Cancel Culture, Then and Now: A Platonic Approach to the Shaming of People and the Exclusion of Ideas.Douglas R. Campbell - 2023 - Journal of Cyberspace Studies 7 (2):147-166.
    In this article, I approach some phenomena seen predominantly on social-media sites that are grouped together as cancel culture with guidance from two major themes in Plato’s thought. In the first section, I argue that shame can play a constructive and valuable role in a person’s improvement, just as we see Socrates throughout Plato’s dialogues use shame to help his interlocutors improve. This insight can help us understand the value of shaming people online for, among other things, their morally reprehensible (...)
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  4. The Soul’s Tomb: Plato on the Body as the Cause of Psychic Disorders.Douglas R. Campbell - 2022 - Apeiron 55 (1):119-139.
    I argue that, according to Plato, the body is the sole cause of psychic disorders. This view is expressed at Timaeus 86b in an ambiguous sentence that has been widely misunderstood by translators and commentators. The goal of this article is to offer a new understanding of Plato’s text and view. In the first section, I argue that although the body is the result of the gods’ best efforts, their sub-optimal materials meant that the soul is constantly vulnerable to the (...)
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  5. The Soul’s Tool: Plato on the Usefulness of the Body.Douglas R. Campbell - 2022 - Elenchos 43 (1):7-27.
    This paper concerns Plato’s characterization of the body as the soul’s tool. I take perception as an example of the body’s usefulness. I explore the Timaeus’ view that perception provides us with models of orderliness. Then, I argue that perception of confusing sensible objects is necessary for our cognitive development too. Lastly, I consider the instrumentality relationship more generally and its place in Plato’s teleological worldview.
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  6. Located in Space: Plato’s Theory of Psychic Motion.Douglas R. Campbell - 2022 - Ancient Philosophy 42 (2):419-442.
    I argue that Plato thinks that the soul has location, surface, depth, and extension, and that the Timaeus’ composition of the soul out of eight circles is intended literally. A novel contribution is the development of an account of corporeality that denies the entailment that the soul is corporeal. I conclude by examining Aristotle’s objection to the Timaeus’ psychology and then the intellectual history of this reading of Plato.
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  7. Why Katz is Wrong: A Lab-Created Creature Can Still Have an Ancient Evolutionary History.Douglas Ian Campbell - 2022 - Ethics, Policy and Environment 25 (2):109-112.
    Katz denies that organisms created in a lab as part of a de-extinction attempt will be authentic members of the extinct species, on the basis that they will lack the original species’ defining biological and evolutionary history. Against Katz, I note that an evolutionary lineage is conferred on an organism through its inheriting genes from forebears already possessed of such a lineage, and that de-extinction amounts to a delayed, human-assisted reproductive process, in which genes are inherited from forebears long dead. (...)
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  8. Not so distinctively mathematical explanations: topology and dynamical systems.Aditya Jha, Douglas Campbell, Clemency Montelle & Phillip L. Wilson - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-40.
    So-called ‘distinctively mathematical explanations’ (DMEs) are said to explain physical phenomena, not in terms of contingent causal laws, but rather in terms of mathematical necessities that constrain the physical system in question. Lange argues that the existence of four or more equilibrium positions of any double pendulum has a DME. Here we refute both Lange’s claim itself and a strengthened and extended version of the claim that would pertain to any n-tuple pendulum system on the ground that such explanations are (...)
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  9. In Defense of (Some) Online Echo Chambers.Douglas R. Campbell - 2023 - Ethics and Information Technology 25 (3):1-11.
    In this article, I argue that online echo chambers are in some cases and in some respects good. I do not attempt to refute arguments that they are harmful, but I argue that they are sometimes beneficial. In the first section, I argue that it is sometimes good to be insulated from views with which one disagrees. In the second section, I argue that the software-design principles that give rise to online echo chambers have a lot to recommend them. Further, (...)
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  10.  83
    On the continuum fallacy: is temperature a continuous function?Aditya Jha, Douglas Campbell, Clemency Montelle & Phillip L. Wilson - 2023 - Foundations of Physics 53 (69):1-29.
    It is often argued that the indispensability of continuum models comes from their empirical adequacy despite their decoupling from the microscopic details of the modelled physical system. There is thus a commonly held misconception that temperature varying across a region of space or time can always be accurately represented as a continuous function. We discuss three inter-related cases of temperature modelling — in phase transitions, thermal boundary resistance and slip flows — and show that the continuum view is fallacious on (...)
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  11. Doxastic desire and Attitudinal Monism.Douglas I. Campbell - 2018 - Synthese 195 (3):1139-1161.
    How many attitudes must be posited at the level of reductive bedrock in order to reductively explain all the rest? Motivational Humeans hold that at least two attitudes are indispensable, belief and desire. Desire-As-Belief theorists beg to differ. They hold that the belief attitude can do the all the work the desire attitude is supposed to do, because desires are in fact nothing but beliefs of a certain kind. If this is correct it has major implications both for the philosophy (...)
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  12.  57
    Plato on Sunaitia.Douglas R. Campbell - 2023 - Apeiron 56 (4):739-768.
    I argue that Plato thinks that a sunaition is a mere tool used by a soul (or by the cosmic nous) to promote an intended outcome. In the first section, I develop the connection between sunaitia and Plato’s teleology. In the second section, I argue that sunaitia belong to Plato’s theory of the soul as a self-mover: specifically, they are those things that are set in motion by the soul in the service of some goal. I also argue against several (...)
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  13. A case for resurrecting lost species—review essay of Beth Shapiro’s, “How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-extinction”.Douglas Campbell - 2016 - Biology and Philosophy 31 (5):747-759.
    The title of Beth Shapiro’s ‘How to Clone a Mammoth’ contains an implicature: it suggests that it is indeed possible to clone a mammoth, to bring extinct species back from the dead. But in fact Shapiro both denies this is possible, and denies there would be good reason to do it even if it were possible. The de-extinct ‘mammoths’ she speaks of are merely ecological proxies for mammoths—elephants re-engineered for cold-tolerance by the addition to their genomes of a few mammoth (...)
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  14. Not So Distinctively Mathematical Explanations.Aditya Jha, Clemency Montelle, Douglas I. Campbell & Phillip Wilson - manuscript
    (Longer version - work in progress) Various accounts of distinctively mathematical explanations (DMEs) of complex systems have been proposed recently which bypass the contingent causal laws and appeal primarily to mathematical necessities constraining the system. These necessities are considered to be modally exalted in that they obtain with a greater necessity than the ordinary laws of nature (Lange 2016). This paper focuses on DMEs of the number of equilibrium positions of n-tuple pendulum systems and considers several different DMEs of these (...)
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  15. On the Authenticity of De-Extinct Organisms, and the Genesis Argument.Douglas Campbell - 2017 - Animal Studies Journal 6 (1):61-79.
    Are the methods of synthetic biology capable of recreating authentic living members of an extinct species? An analogy with the restoration of destroyed natural landscapes suggests not. The restored version of a natural landscape will typically lack much of the aesthetic value of the original landscape because of the different historical processes that created it—processes that involved human intentions and actions, rather than natural forces acting over millennia. By the same token, it would appear that synthetically recreated versions of extinct (...)
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  16. Does the solar system compute the laws of motion?Douglas Ian Campbell & Yi Yang - 2019 - Synthese 198 (4):3203-3220.
    The counterfactual account of physical computation is simple and, for the most part, very attractive. However, it is usually thought to trivialize the notion of physical computation insofar as it implies ‘limited pancomputationalism’, this being the doctrine that every deterministic physical system computes some function. Should we bite the bullet and accept limited pancomputationalism, or reject the counterfactual account as untenable? Jack Copeland would have us do neither of the above. He attempts to thread a path between the two horns (...)
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  17.  56
    Radicalizing Enactivism: Basic Minds with Content By Daniel F. Hutto and Erik Myin.Douglas Campbell - 2014 - Analysis 74 (1):ant102.
    In Radicalizing Enactivism, D. D. Hutto and E. Myin develop a theory of mind they call ‘Radical Enactive (or Embodied) Cognition’ (REC). They argue that extant enactivist and embodied theories of mind are, although pretty radical, not radical enough, because such theories buy into the representationalist doctrine that perceptual experience (along with other forms of ‘basic’ mentality) possesses representational content. REC denies this doctrine. It implies that perceptual experience lacks reference, truth conditions, accuracy conditions, or conditions of satisfaction. In this (...)
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  18. Nudging and Social Media: The Choice Architecture of Online Life.Douglas R. Campbell - forthcoming - Giornale Critico di Storia Delle Idee.
    This article will appear in a special issue dedicated to theme, "the human being in the digital era: awareness, critical thinking and political space in the age of the internet and artificial intelligence." In this article, I consider the way that social-media companies nudge us to spend more time on their platforms, and I argue that, in principle, these nudges are morally permissible: they are not manipulative and do not violate any obvious moral rules. The moral problem, I argue, is (...)
     
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  19. The Inconceivable Popularity of Conceivability Arguments.Douglas I. Campbell, Jack Copeland & Zhuo-Ran Deng - 2017 - Philosophical Quarterly 67 (267):223-240.
    Famous examples of conceivability arguments include (i) Descartes’ argument for mind-body dualism, (ii) Kripke's ‘modal argument’ against psychophysical identity theory, (iii) Chalmers’ ‘zombie argument’ against materialism, and (iv) modal versions of the ontological argument for theism. In this paper, we show that for any such conceivability argument, C, there is a corresponding ‘mirror argument’, M. M is deductively valid and has a conclusion that contradicts C's conclusion. Hence, a proponent of C—henceforth, a ‘conceivabilist’—can be warranted in holding that C's premises (...)
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  20.  71
    Resurrecting Extinct Species: Ethics and Authenticity.Douglas Ian Campbell & Patrick Michael Whittle - 2017 - London, UK: Palgrave Macmillan. Edited by Patrick Michael Whittle.
    This book is about the philosophy of de-extinction. -/- CHAPTER 1 introduces the two main philosophical questions that are raised by the prospect of extinct species being brought back from the dead—namely, the ‘Authenticity Question’ and the ‘Ethical Question’. It distinguishes the many different types and methods of de-extinction. Finally, it examines the aims of wildlife conservation with a view to whether they are compatible with de-extinction, or not. -/- CHAPTER 2 examines three prime candidates for de-extinction—namely, the aurochs, the (...)
  21. The Eightfold Way: Why Analyticity, Apriority and Necessity are Independent.Douglas Ian Campbell - 2017 - Philosophers' Imprint 17:1-17.
    This paper concerns the three great modal dichotomies: (i) the necessary/contingent dichotomy; (ii) the a priori/empirical dichotomy; and (iii) the analytic/synthetic dichotomy. These can be combined to produce a tri-dichotomy of eight modal categories. The question as to which of the eight categories house statements and which do not is a pivotal battleground in the history of analytic philosophy, with key protagonists including Descartes, Hume, Kant, Kripke, Putnam and Kaplan. All parties to the debate have accepted that some categories are (...)
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  22. Against Lewis on ‘Desire as Belief’.Douglas Ian Campbell - 2017 - Polish Journal of Philosophy 11 (1):17-28.
    David Lewis describes, then attempts to refute, a simple anti-Humean theory of desire he calls ‘Desire as Belief’. Lewis’ critics generally accept that his argument is sound and focus instead on trying to show that its implications are less severe than appearances suggest. In this paper I argue that Lewis’ argument is unsound. I show that it rests on an essential assumption that can be straightforwardly proven false using ideas and principles to which Lewis is himself committed.
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  23.  92
    The Fragmentation of Being.Douglas I. Campbell - 2019 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (3):634-635.
    This is a review of Kris McDaniel's book, 'The Fragmentation of Being'. In the book McDaniel defends ontological pluralism -- the doctrine that there are multiple 'ways of being' (i.e., multiple modes, or degrees, or orders, or levels, or gradations of existence). In defending ontological pluralism, McDaniel must reject the rival, Quinean position that there is at root just one generic way for a thing to exist: viz., by its falling in the domain of unrestricted quantification. McDaniel argues against Quine (...)
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  24.  85
    Ethical Arguments For and Against De-extinction.Douglas Ian Campbell & Patrick Michael Whittle - 2017 - In Resurrecting Extinct Species Ethics and Authenticity. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 87-124.
    This chapter surveys and critically evaluates all the main arguments both for and against de-extinction. It presents a qualified defence of the claim that conservationists should embrace de-extinction. It ends with a list of do’s and don’ts for conservationist de-extinction projects.
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  25.  77
    Why We Shouldn't Reason Classically, and the Implications for Artificial Intelligence.Douglas Campbell - 2016 - In C. Vincent Müller (ed.), Computing and Philosophy: Selected Papers From Iacap 2014. Springer Verlag. pp. 151--165.
    In this paper I argue that human beings should reason, not in accordance with classical logic, but in accordance with a weaker ‘reticent logic’. I characterize reticent logic, and then show that arguments for the existence of fundamental Gödelian limitations on artificial intelligence are undermined by the idea that we should reason reticently, not classically.
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  26.  60
    The Semimeasure Property of Algorithmic Probability -- “Feature‘ or “Bug‘?Douglas Campbell - 2013 - In David L. Dowe (ed.), Algorithmic Probability and Friends: Bayesian Prediction and Artificial Intelligence. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. pp. 79--90.
    An unknown process is generating a sequence of symbols, drawn from an alphabet, A. Given an initial segment of the sequence, how can one predict the next symbol? Ray Solomonoff’s theory of inductive reasoning rests on the idea that a useful estimate of a sequence’s true probability of being outputted by the unknown process is provided by its algorithmic probability (its probability of being outputted by a species of probabilistic Turing machine). However algorithmic probability is a “semimeasure”: i.e., the sum, (...)
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  27.  44
    Conservation in a Brave New World.Douglas Ian Campbell & Patrick Michael Whittle - 2017 - In Resurrecting Extinct Species: Ethics and Authenticity. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 1-28.
    This chapter introduces the two main philosophical questions that are raised by the prospect of extinct species being brought back from the dead—namely, the ‘Authenticity Question’ and the ‘Ethical Question’. It distinguishes different types of de-extinction, and different methods by which de-extinction can be accomplished. Finally, it examines the aims of wildlife conservation with a view to whether they are compatible with de-extinction, or not.
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  28.  44
    Real or Fake? The Authenticity Question.Douglas Ian Campbell & Patrick Michael Whittle - 2017 - In Resurrecting Extinct Species: Ethics and Authenticity. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 49-86.
    Is the resurrection of an extinct species genuinely possible, or not? Will organisms produced by de-extinction technology be authentic new members of the species that died out, or just convincing fakes? We seek to answer these questions in this chapter. Critics of de-extinction have offered many reasons for thinking that the products of de-extinction will be inauthentic. The bulk of the chapter is taken up with surveying their arguments. We attempt to show that none are convincing. We end the chapter (...)
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  29. Neuropsychiatric Foundations and Clinical Applications of General Semantics. In M. Kendig (Ed.).Douglas G. Campbell - 1943 - In Marjorie Mercer Kendig (ed.), Papers From the Second American Congress on General Semantics. Chicago: Institute of General Semantics.
     
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  30.  31
    Three Case Studies: Aurochs, Mammoths and Passenger Pigeons.Douglas Ian Campbell & Patrick Michael Whittle - 2017 - In Resurrecting Extinct Species: Ethics and Authenticity. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 29-48.
    This chapter examines three prime candidates for de-extinction—namely, the aurochs, the woolly mammoth, and the passenger pigeon. It will be about what these animals were like, why people want to resurrect them, and the methods by which their resurrections could be accomplished.
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  31.  6
    Cosmic Xerox Machines, Tattoo Removal, and Defining 'Physicalism'.Douglas Campbell - unknown
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  32.  33
    Quality crab grass: A book review by Douglas S. Campbell. [REVIEW]Douglas S. Campbell - 1995 - Journal of Mass Media Ethics 10 (1):55.
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  33. Irrigating Blood: Plato on the Circulatory System, the Cosmos, and Elemental Motion.Douglas Campbell - forthcoming - Journal of the History of Philosophy.
    This article concerns the so-called irrigation system in the Timaeus’ biology (77a-81e), which replenishes our body’s tissues with resources from food delivered as blood. I argue that this system functions mainly by the natural like-to-like motion of the elements and that the circulation of blood is an important case study of Plato’s physics. We are forced to revise the view that the elements attract their like. Instead, similar elements merely tend to coalesce with each other in virtue of their tactile (...)
     
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  34. What Timaeus Can Teach Us: The Importance of Plato’s Timaeus in the 21st Century.Douglas R. Campbell - forthcoming - Athena.
    In this article, I make the case for the continued relevance of Plato’s Timaeus. I begin by sketching Allan Bloom’s picture of the natural sciences today in The Closing of the American Mind, according to which the natural sciences are, objectionably, increasingly specialized and have ejected humans qua humans from their purview. I argue that Plato’s Timaeus, despite the falsity of virtually all of its scientific claims, provides a model for how we can pursue scientific questions in a comprehensive way (...)
     
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  35.  39
    Strong Determinism vs. Computability.Cristian Calude, Douglas Campbell, Karl Svozil & Doru Ştefănescu - 1995 - Vienna Circle Institute Yearbook 3:115-131.
    Penrose [40] has discussed a new point of view concerning the nature of physics that might underline conscious thought processes. He has argued that it might be the case that some physical laws are not computable, i.e. they cannot be properly simulated by computer; such laws can most probably arise on the “no-man’s-land” between classical and quantum physics. Furthermore, conscious thinking is a non-algorithmic activity. He is opposing both strong AI , and Searle’s [47] contrary viewpoint mathematical “laws”).
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