This book offers a new approach to the analysis of the multiple meanings of English modals, conjunctions, conditionals, and perception verbs. Although such ambiguities cannot easily be accounted for by feature-analyses of word meaning, Eve Sweetser's argument shows that they can be analyzed both readily and systematically. Meaning relationships in general cannot be understood independently of human cognitive structure, including the metaphorical and cultural aspects of that structure. Sweetser shows that both lexical polysemy and pragmatic ambiguity are shaped (...) by our metaphorical folk understanding of epistemic processes and of speech interaction. Similar regularities can be shown to structure the contrast among root, epistemic and speech act uses of modal verbs, multiple uses of conjunctions and conditionals, and certain processes of historical change observed in Indo-European languages. Since polysemy is typically the intermediate step in semantic change, the same regularities observable in polysemy can be extended to an analysis of semantic change. (shrink)
Benjamin Franklin's social and political thought was shaped by contacts with and knowledge of ancient aboriginal traditions. Indeed, a strong case can be made that key features of the social structure eventually outlined in the United States Constitution arose not from European sources, and not full-grown from the foreheads of European-American "founding fathers", but from aboriginal sources, communicated to the authors of the Constitution to a significant extent through Franklin. A brief sketch of the main argument to this (...) effect is offered in this essay. (shrink)
In this book, Christopher Evan Franklin develops and defends a novel version of event-causal libertarianism. This view is a combination of libertarianism--the view that humans sometimes act freely and that those actions are the causal upshots of nondeterministic processes--and agency reductionism--the view that the causal role of the agent in exercises of free will is exhausted by the causal role of mental states and events (e.g., desires and beliefs) involving the agent. Franklin boldly counteracts a dominant theory that (...) has similar aims, put forth by well-known philosopher Robert Kane. -/- Many philosophers contend that event-causal libertarians have no advantage over compatibilists when it comes to securing a distinctively valuable kind of freedom and responsibility. To Franklin, this position is mistaken. Assuming agency reductionism is true, event-causal libertarians need only adopt the most plausible compatibilist theory and add indeterminism at the proper juncture in the genesis of human action. The result is minimal event-causal libertarianism: a model of free will with the metaphysical simplicity of compatibilism and the intuitive power of libertarianism. And yet a worry remains: toward the end of the book, Franklin reconsiders his assumption of agency reductionism, arguing that this picture faces a hitherto unsolved problem. This problem, however, has nothing to do with indeterminism or determinism, or even libertarianism or compatibilism, but with how to understand the nature of the self and its role in the genesis of action. Crucially, if this problem proves unsolvable, then not only is event-causal libertarianism untenable, so also is event-causal compatibilism. (shrink)
• It would be a moral disgrace for God (if he existed) to allow the many evils in the world, in the same way it would be for a parent to allow a nursery to be infested with criminals who abused the children. • There is a contradiction in asserting all three of the propositions: God is perfectly good; God is perfectly powerful; evil exists (since if God wanted to remove the evils and could, he would). • The religious believer (...) has no hope of getting away with excuses that evil is not as bad as it seems, or that it is all a result of free will, and so on. Piper avoids mentioning the best solution so far put forward to the problem of evil. It is Leibniz’s theory that God does not create a better world because there isn’t one — that is, that (contrary to appearances) if one part of the world were improved, the ramifications would result in it being worse elsewhere, and worse overall. It is a “bump in the carpet” theory: push evil down here, and it pops up over there. Leibniz put it by saying this is the “Best of All Possible Worlds”. That phrase was a public relations disaster for his theory, suggesting as it does that everything is perfectly fine as it is. He does not mean that, but only that designing worlds is a lot harder than it looks, and determining the amount of evil in the best one is no easy matter. Though humour is hardly appropriate to the subject matter, the point of Leibniz’s idea is contained in the old joke, “An optimist is someone who thinks this is the best of all possible worlds, and a pessimist thinks.. (shrink)
I have come to believe that the whole framework of our current thought is about to begin a long and radical transformation, based on what I shall call a new science of pure consciousness. The content of most of the matters to be considered by this science have hitherto been the concern of some areas of religion, particularly what in our culture we call ‘mysticism’; but the treatment of it would legitimately be called scientific. Thus one aspect of the transformation (...) would be to overcome that apparent conflict between ‘science’ and ‘religion’, which has been so characteristic of our culture over the last few centuries. (shrink)
When philosophers approach philosophy of religion, they typically ask two questions: are there any sound arguments to prove the existence of God; and is talk about God even rationally intelligible? Theologians, for their part, primarily expound the meaning and relevance of Christianity. I am by profession a philosopher, but apart from Secs. VI and VII I am here writing as a puzzled twentieth-century man. My prime worry is whether we philosophers and theologians are beginning with the right questions.
That bad things happen to good people was as true in early China as it is today. Franklin Perkins uses this observation as the thread by which to trace the effort by Chinese thinkers of the Warring States Period, a time of great conflict and division, to seek reconciliation between humankind and the world. Perkins provides rich new readings of classical Chinese texts and reflects on their significance for Western philosophical discourse.
Why was Leibniz so fascinated by Chinese philosophy and culture? What specific forms did his interest take? How did his interest compare with the relative indifference of his philosophical contemporaries and near-contemporaries such as Spinoza and Locke? In this highly original book, Franklin Perkins examines Leibniz's voluminous writings on the subject and suggests that his interest was founded in his own philosophy: the nature of his metaphysical and theological views required him to take Chinese thought seriously. Leibniz was unusual (...) in holding enlightened views about the intellectual profitability of cultural exchange, and in a broad-ranging discussion Perkins charts these views, their historical context, and their social and philosophical ramifications. The result is an illuminating philosophical study which also raises wider questions about the perils and rewards of trying to understand and learn from a different culture. (shrink)
Franklin and Pickering agree that scientists in an experimental sequence, like the one to be discussed here, choose to accept certain experiments and their results as crucial, but disagree as to whether such choice can be justified in terms of an on-line estimate of evidential reliability. This paper suggests that it is possible to define a position between Franklin 's Bayesian objectivism and Pickering's social constructivism. This position depends on considering the sequence of improvement in material technique and (...) instrumentation as more important than any measure of reliability determined merely from such factors as evidential spread in relevant sequences, a factor that neither Franklin nor Pickering takes sufficiently into account. (shrink)
This paper was presented at a session on "Three views of experiment: Atomic parity violations," in which Allan Franklin's study of an episode in the recent history of particle physics was discussed and criticized. Franklin argues in favor of what he calls "the evidence model," a general claim to the effect that physicists' theory choices are based on valid experimental evidence. He contrasts his position to that of the social constructivists, who, according to him, insist that social and (...) cognitive interests, and not the evidence, explains physicists' practical and theoretical judgments. My paper argues that Franklin miscasts the debate between experimental realism and social constructivism, because constructivists do not insist that evidence has no role whatsoever in experimental practice. My position draws lessons from Wittgenstein's later philosophy and ethnomethodological studies of scientific practices. The paper does not aim to support social constructivism against Franklin's arguments, so much as to suggest that the terms of the realist-constructivist debate provide a poor context for the examination of the temporal production of experiments and observations. (shrink)
In this collection of essays, Franklin I. Gamwell offers a defense of transcendental metaphysics, especially in its neoclassical form, and builds a case for its importance as a tool for addressing abiding problems in morality and philosophical theology-including talk about God, human fault, moral decision, and the relationship of politics and religious freedom. In Part I, Gamwell argues against Kant and a wide range of contemporary philosophers, for the validity of transcendental metaphysics designated in the strict sense, i.e., as (...) an explication of the possible as such or existence as such, as the most general features or conditions all possible things have in common. He engages with Aquinas, Schleiermacher, Augustine, and Niebuhr to argue that neoclassical metaphysics, for which the divine whole is itself temporal or forever self-surpassing, provides a more coherent account of God than does classical metaphysics, for which the divine whole is completely eternal. In Part II, Gamwell looks at transcendental metaphysics designated in the broad sense, i.e., as an explication of possible subjectivity as such, as the most general features or conditions all possible subjects have in common. In particular, he takes up the moral opportunity that humans are presented with, and argues that the moral law depends on a comprehensive good, that is, a good defined metaphysically in the strict sense. He then offers an extended discussion of the relation between transcendental metaphysics (in the broad sense) and the meaning of religious freedom and explores Ronald Dworkin's view of the relationship between democracy and religion, the question of whether religious activities are properly exempted from generally applicable laws, and the constitutional debate about national and states' rights. (shrink)
Allan Franklin has identified a number of strategies that scientists use to build confidence in experimental results. This paper shows that Franklin's strategies have direct analogues in the context of computer simulation and then suggests that one of his strategies—the so-called 'Sherlock Holmes' strategy—deserves a privileged place within the epistemologies of experiment and simulation. In particular, it is argued that while the successful application of even several of Franklin's other strategies (or their analogues in simulation) may not (...) be sufficient for justified belief in results, the successful application of a slightly elaborated version of the Sherlock Holmes strategy is sufficient. (shrink)
An article in the January 8, 1986 issue of The New York Times dramatically announced, "Hints of Fifth Force in Nature Challenge Galileo's Findings." Just four years later, many of those who had worked on the concept concluded that "the Fifth Force is dead." Reading like a detective story, The Rise and Fall of the Fifth Force discloses the curious history of the quick advance and swift demise of the "Fifth Force" - a proposed modification of Newton's Law of Universal (...) Gravitation and one of the most publicized physics hypotheses in recent memory. While discussing the origin and fate of this short-lived concept, The Rise and Fall of the Fifth Force delivers a fascinating analysis of the ways in which scientific hypotheses in general are promulgated and pursued. What leads to the formulation of a hypothesis? How and why does a hypothesis become considered worthy of further investigation? These are some of the questions that The Rise and Fall of the Fifth Force pursues while unraveling the dynamics of this scientific search. Taking aim at the "social constructivist" view of science, which posits social and professional interests as the primary engine behind hypothesis-making, Allan Franklin proposes an "evidence model" of science. He emphasizes the crucial role that experimental evidence plays in the discovery, pursuit, and justification of scientific proposals and suggests a distinction between the reasons for scientific pursuit and the reasons used to justify hypotheses. Buttressing Franklin's model, The Rise and Fall of the Fifth Force provides a unique comparison of the published record and the private e-mail correspondence of the three major authors of the Fifth Force hypothesis during the first six months following the publication of their proposal. A fascinating inquiry into a scientific hypothesis and the forces that first advanced and then rejected it, The Rise and Fall of the Fifth Force is an outstanding account for physicists, historians and philosophers of science, and all readers interested in what makes science tick. (shrink)
Benjamin Franklin, the colonial American, maintained a now little-known interest in geological questions for more than sixty years. He began as a follower of English theorists, but soon assimilated some of their ideas with original speculations and discoveries, particularly regarding earthquakes. Though Franklin became famous for his experiments with electricity, he never attempted to explain earthquakes as if they were electrical phenomena; others, however, did. Through his access to American materials, Franklin contributed significantly to the work of (...) several English and French geological theorists. Though some of his own theories were ultimately of limited value, Franklin played an important role in the international science of his time. In addition to his other accomplishments, he was colonial America's foremost student of geology. (shrink)
In this collection of essays Allan Franklin defends the view that science provides us with knowledge about the world which is based on experimental evidence and on reasoned and critical discussion. In short, he argues that science is a reasonable enterprise. He begins with detailed studies of four episodes from the history of modern physics: the early attempts to detect gravity waves, how the physics community decided that a proposed new elementary particle, 17-keV neutrino, did not exist, a sequence (...) of experiments on K meson decay, and the origins of the Fifth Force hypothesis, a proposed modification of Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation. The case studies are then used to examine issues such as how discord between experimental results is resolved, calibration of an experimental apparatus and its legitimate use in validating an experimental result, and how experimental results provide reasonable grounds for belief in both the truth of physical theories and in the existence of the entities involved in those theories. This book is a challenge to the critics of science, both postmodern and constructivist, to provide convincing alternative explanations of the episodes and issues discussed. It should be of interest to philosophers, historians, and sociologists of science, and to scientists themselves. (shrink)
En pleno debate sobre qué significa ser liberal y qué no, la editorial Tecnos nos ofrece una colección de textos que ejemplifican una de las configuraciones clásicas de este modo de pensar en el siglo XX: una serie de discursos e intervenciones públicas de Franklin Delano Roosevelt en las que se justifican las particulares medidas adoptadas durante el comienzo de su mandato y que recibieron el nombre de New Deal.
Mitchell Franklin's contributions to American legal thought were in large part the result of his devotion to the study of the United States' Romanist legal heritage. A leading theme of his work is that the Roman legal tradition presents more promising prospects for progressive legal developments than the Anglo-American common law tradition. Thus, Franklin became an advocate of Roman-style codification of American law which began with the American revolution and has continued. His Romanist position sharply distinguished Franklin (...) from almost all American jurists of this century, even those considered liberal and progressive. Thus, Franklin criticized Holmes for his Anglophilic Humean1 conceptions of law and judicial hegemony. (shrink)
Prevailing ethical thinking about informed consent to clinical research is characterized by theoretical confidence and practical disquiet. On the one hand, bioethicists are confident that informed consent is a fundamental norm. And, for the most part, they are confident that what makes consent to research valid is that it constitutes an autonomous authorization by the research participant. On the other hand, bioethicists are uneasy about the quality of consent in practice. One major source of this disquiet is substantial evidence of (...) the “therapeutic misconception”—the tendency of patient-subjects in clinical trials to confuse participating in research with receiving personalized medical care. This .. (shrink)
Interpretations of recollection in the "Phaedo" are divided between ordinary interpretations, on which recollection explains a kind of learning accomplished by all, and sophisticated interpretations, which restrict recollection to philosophers. A sophisticated interpretation is supported by the prominence of philosophical understanding and reflection in the argument. Recollection is supposed to explain the advanced understanding displayed by Socrates and Simmias (74b2-4). Furthermore, it seems to be a necessary condition on recollection that one who recollects also perform a comparison of sensible particulars (...) to Forms (74a5-7). I provide a new ordinary interpretation which explains these features of the argument. First, we must clearly distinguish the philosophical reflection which constitutes the argument for the Theory of Recollection from the ordinary learning which is its subject. The comparison of sensibles to Forms is the reasoning by which we see, as philosophers, that we must recollect. At the same time, we must also appreciate the continuity of ordinary and philosophical learning. Plato wants to explain the capacity for ordinary discourse, but with an eye to its role as the origin of philosophical reflection and learning. In the "Phaedo", recollection has ordinary learning as its immediate explanandum, and philosophical learning as its ultimate explanandum. (shrink)