The procedure of establishing a measure of an attribute consists of the assignment of numbers to objects whose attributes show some variability according to rules. These rules are chosen so that the assigned numbers contain some ‘information’ about the differing variants of the attribute. In the article, we discuss a heuristic, a scaling, and a representational approach. Within the heuristic approach, rules can be based on a verbal argument heuristically linking the variability in the attribute to differences in the measurements. (...) In this case, the specific information that is represented by the measurements is very hard to determine due to the lack of a formal model. Within the scaling approach, a formal model is used to derive rules for the assignment of numbers to the variants of the attribute. From a scaling model, conclusions about the specific information assumed to be represented in the measurements can be derived. Both approaches depend on the assumption that there is something to measure, namely that the attribute that is going to be measured exists in a realm different from the numerical one. Within the representational approach, one tries to clarify what conditions must be met by an attribute to be considered measurable so that relations between the measurements can be interpreted as reflecting relations between the variants of the attribute. By specifying the conditions an attribute must meet to be measurable at all, measurement theory opens an alternative way to rules and thus to measurements. Following this approach, it is no longer necessary only to assume that there is some measurable attribute, but one can find out whether this indeed is the case. Moreover, the interdependence of the definition of an attribute and its measurability, as well as the role theory plays in defining certain attributes, can be clarified. (shrink)
Many of the things that we try to explain, in both our common sense and our scientific engagement with the world, are capable of being explained more or less finely: that is, with greater or lesser attention to the detail of the producing mechanism. A natural assumption, pervasive if not always explicit, is that other things being equal, the more finegrained an explanation, the better. Thus, Jon Elster, who also thinks there are instrumental reasons for wanting a more fine-grained explanation, (...) assumes that in any case the mere fact of getting nearer the detail of production makes such an explanation intrinsically superior: “a more detailed explanation is also an end in itself”. Michael Taylor agrees: “A good explanation should be, amongst other things, as fine-grained as possible.”. (shrink)
Los teóricos de la democracia dejaron de lado la pregunta de quién legalmente forma parte del "pueblo" autorizado, pregunta que atraviesa a todas las teoría de la democracia y continuamente vivifica la práctica democrática. Determinar quién constituye el pueblo es un dilema inabordable e incluso imposible de responder democráticamente; no es una pregunta que el pueblo mismo pueda decidir procedimentalmente porque la propia premisa subvierte las premisas de su resolución. Esta paradoja del mandato popular revela que el pueblo para ser (...) mejor comprendido como una demanda política, como un proceso de subjetivación, surge y se desarrolla en distintos contextos democráticos. En Estados Unidos el disputado poder para hablar en beneficio del pueblo deriva de un excedente constitutivo heredado de la era revolucionaria, a partir del hecho de que desde la Revolución el pueblo ha sido por vez primera encarnado por la representación y como exceso de cualquier forma de representación. La autoridad posrevolucionaria del vox populi deriva de esa continuamente reiterada pero nunca realizada referencia a la soberanía del pueblo a partir de la representación, legitimidad a partir de la ley, espíritu a partir de la letra, la palabra a través de la palabra. Este ensayo examina la emergencia histórica de este exceso de democracia en el período revolucionario, y cómo este habilita a una subsecuente historia de "momentos constituyentes", momentos cuando subautorizados -radicales, entidades autocreadas-, se apoderan del manto de la autoridad, cambiando las reglas de la autoridad en ese proceso. Estos pequeños dramas de reclamos de autoridad política para hablar en nombre del pueblo son felices, aun cuando explícitamente rompan con los procedimientos o reglas estatuidas para representar la voz popular. -/- Momentos constituyentes: paradojas y poder popular en los Estados Unidos de América posrevolucionarios [traducción], Revista Argentina de Ciencia Política, N°15, EUDEBA, Buenos Aires, Octubre 2012, pp. 49-74. ISSN: 0329-3092. Introducción de “Constituent Moments: Enacting the People in Postrevolutionary America”, de Jason Frank [Ed.: Duke University Press Books, enero de 2010. ISBN-10: 0822346753; ISBN-13: 978-0822346753]. (shrink)
Despite the renewed interest in Frank Lloyd Wright and the increasing body of literature that has illuminated his career, the deeper meaning of his architecture continues to be elusive. His own writings are often interesting commentaries but tend not to enlighten us as to his design methodology, and it is difficult to make the connection between his stated philosophy and his actual designs. This book is a refreshing account that evaluates Wright’s contribution on the basis of his architectural form, (...) its animating principle and consequent meaning. Wright’s architecture, not his persona, is the primary focus of this investigation. This study presents a comprehensive overview of Wright’s work in a comparative analytical format. Wright’s major building types have been identified to enable the reader to pursue a more systematic understanding of his work. The conceptual and experiential order of each building group is demonstrated visually with specially developed analytical illustrations. These drawings offer vital insights into Wright’s exploration of form and underscore the connection between form and principle. The implications of Wright’s work for architecture in general serves as an important underlying theme throughout. This volume also integrates the research of several noted scholars to clarify the interaction of theory and practice in Wright’s work, as well as the role of formal order in architectural experience in general. By seeing how Wright integrates his intuitive and intellectual grasp of design, the reader will build a keen awareness of the rational and coherent basis of his architecture and its symbiotic relationship with emotional, qualitative reality. A graphic taxonomy of plans of Wright’s building designs helps the reader focus on specific subjects. Among the diverse areas covered are sources and influences of Wright’s work, domestic themes and variations, public buildings and skyscraper designs, and the influence of site on design. Complete with a chronology of the master architect’s work, Frank Lloyd Wright: Between Principle and Form is an important reference for students, architects and architectural historians. (shrink)
Prescriptive political and moral theories contain ideas about what human beings are like and about what, correspondingly, is good for them. Conceptions of human “nature” and corresponding human good enter into normative argument by way of support and justification. Of course, it is logically open for the ratiocinative traffic to run the other way. Strongly held convictions about the rightness or wrongness, goodness or badness, of certain social institutions or practices may help condition and shape one's responses to one or (...) another set of propositions about what people are like and what, in consequence, they have reason to value. (shrink)
At the most general level I am interested in how we come to make sense of the world around us. Much of this research involves asking how intuitive explanations and understandings emerge in development and how they are related to notions of cause, mechanism and agency. These relations are linked to broader questions of what concepts are, how they change with development and increasing expertise and how they are structured in adults.
I'm pleased to have been offered the chance of replying to Joseph Frank's criticisms . He is a courteous opponent, though capable of a certain asperity. . . . Frank complains that his critics appear incapable of attending to what he really said in his original essay. It is the blight critics are born for; and it is undoubtedly sometimes caused by the venal haste of reviewers, and sometimes by native dullness, and sometimes by malice. But there are (...) other reasons why an author may sometimes feel himself to be misrepresented. One is that a genuinely patient and intelligent reader may be more interested in what the piece under consideration does not quite say than in what is expressly stated. Another is the consequence of fame. Frank's original article is over thirty years old; it crystallised what had been for the most part vague notions, ideas that were in the air, and gave them a memorable name. "Spatial form" entered the jargon of the graduate school and began an almost independent existence. The term might well be used by people who had never read the essay at all; or they might casually attribute to him loose inferences made by others from the general proposition—inferences he had already disallowed and now once more contests. It must be difficult, particularly for an exasperated author, to distinguish between these causes of apparent misrepresentation. But sometimes it can be done; and then it will appear that the effect of the first is far more interesting than that of the second cause. For the suggestion then must be that the author has repressed a desire to take a position which, in his manifest argument, he differentiates from his own. This, as it happens, is what he advances as an explanation of certain ambiguities in my Sense of an Ending; the least one can say is that it is perfectly possible. Frank Kermode is the author of The Sense of an Ending: Studies in the Theory of Fiction, Continuities, and Shakespeare, Spenser, Donne: Renaissance Essays; his works also include The Classic and The Genesis of Secrecy. His contributions to Critical Inquiry are "Novels: Recognition and Deception" , "A Reply to Denis Donoghue" , and "Secrets and Narrative Sequence". (shrink)
This paper argues that God may create and exist in any possible world, no matter how much suffering of any sort that world includes. It combines the traditional free will defence with the notion of an ‘occasion’ for good or evil action and limits God's responsibility to the creation of these occasions. Since no possible world contains occasions for more evil than good action, God is morally permitted to create any possible world. With regard to suffering that is not due (...) to free will, namely the suffering of beings who are not moral agents, the paper questions the idea that the relief of such suffering is a moral perfection. (shrink)
In what follows I argue for two interrelated theses: that early Buddhism is not a form of empiricism, and that consequently there is no basis for an early Buddhist apologetic which contrasts an empirical early Buddhism with either a metaphysical Hinduism on the one hand, or with a baseless Christianity on the other.
Wind, water, and molten rock constantly tear apart and resculpt the natural world we live in, and people have always struggled to create structures that will permanently establish their existence on the land. Frank Golhke has committed his camera lens to documenting that fraught relationship between people and place, and this retrospective collection of his work by John Rohrbach reveals how people carve out their living spaces in the face of constant natural disruption. An acclaimed master of landscape photography, (...) Golhke explores in _Accommodating Nature_ how people configure the places where they live, work, and commune, both on an everyday level and in the aftermath of catastrophic destruction. Whether a ranch house anchored fast on an endless Texas plain, the shattered buildings and whipped trees left by a category 5 tornado, or the jagged cliffs of ash and rock created by the volcanic eruption of Mount St. Helens, the photographs unearth the ways in which new homes and lives emerge from the fragments of the old. Thought-provoking essays by Rebecca Solnit, Frank Gohlke, and John Rohrbach expand upon the issues raised by the images, contemplating the complexities of human and cultural geography and the relationships we have with our respective place. An arresting and vibrant visual essay combining magnificent vistas with intimate emotional detail, _Accommodating Nature_ exposes the intricate threads that bind our lives to the land surrounding us. (shrink)
We make a huge variety of claims framed in vocabularies drawn from physics and chemistry, everyday talk, neuroscience, ethics, mathematics, semantics, folk and professional psychology, and so on and so forth. We say, for example, that Jones feels cold, that Carlton might win, that there are quarks, that murder is wrong, that there are four fundamental forces, and that a certain level of neurological activity is necessary for thought. If we follow Huw Price's Carnapian lead, we can put this by (...) saying that we make many claims in many different frameworks. (shrink)
Frank Jackson champions the cause of conceptual analysis as central to philosophical inquiry. In recent years conceptual analysis has been undervalued and widely misunderstood, suggests Jackson. He argues that such analysis is mistakenly clouded in mystery, preventing a whole range of important questions from being productively addressed. He anchors his argument in discussions of specific philosophical issues, starting with the metaphysical doctrine of physicalism and moving on, via free will, meaning, personal identity, motion, and change, to ethics and the (...) philosophy of color. In this way the book not only offers a methodological program for philosophy, but also casts new light on some much-debated problems and their interrelations. (shrink)
Recently Steven E. Boër gave another turn to the discussion of the free will defence by claiming that the free will defence is irrelevant to the justification of moral evil. Conceding that free will may be of real value, Boër claims that free will could have been allowed creatures without that leading to any moral evil at all. What I shall hereafter refer to as the ‘Boër reform’ is the suggestion that God could have allowed creatures to exercise free choices (...) but have intervened with ‘coincidence miracles’ to prevent all the intended evil from actually occurring. What is important to the free will defence, according to Boër, is the ability to choose freely and not the ability to succeed in effecting what we have intended to accomplish. It is no intrusion on the freedom of our wills for God to prevent us from accomplishing what we tried to do with our free wills as long as we were free to try. (shrink)
Frank Ramsey was the greatest of the remarkable generation of Cambridge philosophers and logicians which included G. E. Moore, Bertrand Russell, Ludwig Wittgenstein and Maynard Keynes. Before his tragically early death in 1930 at the age of twenty-six, he had done seminal work in mathematics and economics as well as in logic and philosophy. This volume, with a new and extensive introduction by D. H. Mellor, contains all Ramsey's previously published writings on philosophy and the foundations of mathematics. The (...) latter gives the definitive form and defence of the reduction of mathematics to logic undertaken in Russell and Whitehead's Principia Mathematica; the former includes the most profound and original studies of universals, truth, meaning, probability, knowledge, law and causation, all of which are still constantly referred to, and still essential reading for all serious students of these subjects. (shrink)
Wittgenstein has a remark in which he admonishes us to remember that not everything which is expressed in the language of information belongs to the language game of giving information. In this paper I want to illustrate how the language of information may be used to disguise the character of the interest we take in social life, an interest whose candid and undisguised manifestations are to be found in literature.
The French medical context is characterized by institutionalization of the ethical reflection in health care facilities and an important disparity between spaces of ethical reflection. In theory, the healthcare professional may mobilise an arsenal of resources to help him in his ethical reflection. But what happens in practice? We conducted semi-structured interviews with 22 health-care professionals who did and did not have recourse to clinical ethical committees. We also implemented two focus groups with 18 professionals involved in various spaces of (...) ethical reflection in order to let them debate about a better way to organize ethical reflection in their institutional contexts. The qualitative analysis allows to us to underline the coexistence of different conceptions of ethics among health care professionals. We also observed that the participants in our study shared the experience of ethically problematic situations as roadblocks in the process of communication and decision-making. We therefore report the factors which favour or inhibit the ethical course leading to the resolution or at the very least soothing of the situation at hand. Finally, we discuss methodological issues and underline the fact that while the patient is at the heart of the professional’s ethical preoccupations, this does not imply that they are actors in decisions that concern them. (shrink)
Frank Ramsey was a brilliant Cambridge philosopher, mathematician, and economist who died in 1930 at 26 having made landmark contributions to decision theory, game theory, mathematics, logic, semantics, philosophy of science, and the theory of truth. This rich biography tells the story of his extraordinary life and intellectual achievement.
I submit as a good rule of thumb that if a discussion of any major philosophical position or proposition ends with the conclusion that that position or proposition is ‘absurd’ or ‘meaningless’ then a mistake has been made in the discussion. The mistake often turns out to be the accuser's failure to appreciate precisely what the position being attacked really is.
Wind, water, and molten rock constantly tear apart and resculpt the natural world we live in, and people have always struggled to create structures that will permanently establish their existence on the land. Frank Golhke has committed his camera lens to documenting that fraught relationship between people and place, and this retrospective collection of his work by John Rohrbach reveals how people carve out their living spaces in the face of constant natural disruption. An acclaimed master of landscape photography, (...) Golhke explores in Accommodating Nature how people configure the places where they live, work, and commune, both on an everyday level and in the aftermath of catastrophic destruction. Whether a ranch house anchored fast on an endless Texas plain, the shattered buildings and whipped trees left by a category 5 tornado, or the jagged cliffs of ash and rock created by the volcanic eruption of Mount St. Helens, the photographs unearth the ways in which new homes and lives emerge from the fragments of the old. Thought-provoking essays by Rebecca Solnit, Frank Gohlke, and John Rohrbach expand upon the issues raised by the images, contemplating the complexities of human and cultural geography and the relationships we have with our respective place. An arresting and vibrant visual essay combining magnificent vistas with intimate emotional detail, Accommodating Nature exposes the intricate threads that bind our lives to the land surrounding us. (shrink)
Wittgenstein's genius, John Wisdom has suggested, was uniquely revealed in his ability to formulate such questions as ‘Could one play chess without the queen? Would it still be chess?’ The central questions raised by Richard Rorty's work may be cast in a parallel form: ‘Could one do philosophy without the notion of truth as “correspondence with the Real”? Would it still be philosophy?’ Both pairs of questions, Wittgenstein' and Rorty's, are quintessentially anti-essentialist. The scope and ingenuity of Rorty's ‘philosophy without (...) mirrors’ has challenged philosophers to reconf ront basic questions about the nature and purposes of philosophical inquiry. (shrink)
Resurrection has been used as the conceptual basis for attempted solutions to two problems that occur in the context of western theism, the problem of cognitive meaning and the problem of theodicy. Because John Hick has proposed resurrection as a solution to both problems so extensively, and because Antony Flew and Terence Penelhum have examined those solutions so strenuously, I will use their writings to lay out the problem. My aim is to improve upon Hick by overcoming a weakness in (...) his defence of resurrection. My narrower focus will be on resurrection and the ‘replica objection’, rather than the wider use of resurrection to solve problems of evil or the meaningfulness of theistic discourse, but some brief remarks on the wider problems will be necessary to set the stage. (shrink)