Contemporary philosophy of science analyzes psychology as a science with special features, because this discipline includes some specific philosophical problems – descriptive and normative, structural and dynamic. Some of these are particularly relevant both theoretically and practically. Two central aspects in this book are the role of causality, especially conceived as intervention or manipulation, and the characterization of the psychological subject. This requires a clarification of scientific explanations in terms of causality in psychology, because characterizations of causality are quite different (...) in epistemological and ontological terms. One of the most influential views is James Woodward’s approach to causality as intervention, which entails an analysis of its characteristics, new elements and limits. This means taking into account the structural and dynamic aspects included in causal cognition and psychological explanations. Psychology seen as special science also requires us to consider the scientific status of psychology and the psychological subject, which leads to limits of naturalism in psychology. (shrink)
In the 1960’s Brian Goodwin published a couple of mathematical models showing how feedback inhibition can lead to oscillations and discussed possible implications of this behaviour for the physiology of the cell. He also presented key ideas about the rich dynamics that may result from the coupling between such biochemical oscillators. Goodwin’s work motivated a series of theoretical investigations aiming at identifying minimal mechanisms to generate limit cycle oscillations and deciphering design principles of biological oscillators. The three-variable Goodwin model can (...) be seen as a core model for a large class of biological systems, ranging from ultradian to circadian clocks. We summarize here main ideas and results brought by Goodwin and review a couple of modeling works directly or indirectly inspired by Goodwin’s findings. (shrink)
This is a direct explication du texte of that section of Hegel’s Phenomenology which deals with Der seiner selbst gewisse Geist: Die Moralität—or, in Baillie’s translation, "Self-Assured Spirit: Morality.".
This article critically analyzes Rawls’s attitude towards envy. In A Theory of Justice, Rawls is predominantly concerned with the threat that class envy – or what he calls general envy – poses to political stability. By contrast, he does not think that particular envy – the type of envy that arises between peers competing for the same objects – would be in any way problematic for his ideal political society. I contest this claim by pointing to the politically deleterious effects (...) that peer envy would likely have within a society ordered according to his principles of justice. Section 1 reconstructs Rawls’s conception of peer envy, underlining the causal connection that he draws between this emotion and rivalry. Section 2 argues that since Rawls wishes to promote rivalry within the political and economic spheres, there is good reason to believe that his ideal just society would be marked by elevated levels of peer envy – and perhaps hazardously so. In Section 3, I then briefly turn to ancient Greece, showing how its agonistic culture generated politically destabilizing levels of peer envy. This is followed by an overview of the key institutional mechanisms that the Greeks developed in order to keep peer envy within socially beneficial limits. I conclude that if Rawlsians wish to establish a society structured around political and economic rivalry, they would do well to reflect on the institutional means by which peer envy can be effectively harnessed. (shrink)
The professor of psychopathology Simon Baron-Cohen claims that males are on average stronger at systematizing than empathizing and females are on average stronger at empathizing than systematizing. Systematizing is defined as the drive to construct or understand systems. In this paper, I observe that Baron-Cohen overlooks certain examples of systems, examples which lead to doubts about his claim.
This authoritative study explores the relation of John Henry Newman's idea of conscience to what he called conscience "in the ordinary sense of the word." Grave argues that a proper understanding of this distinction is essential to a satisfactory understanding of Newman's thought wherever the notion of conscience enters into it. He examines some neglected difficulties in this area such as the relation between individual conscience and the authority of the church, and the matter of rights of conscience.
The professor of psychopathology Simon Baron-Cohen is well-known for his thesis that males are on average better at systematizing than empathizing and females are on average better at empathizing than systematizing. In this paper, I note an ambiguity in how he defines systematizing.
Open peer commentary on the target article “From Objects to Processes: A Proposal to Rewrite Radical Constructivism” by Siegfried J. Schmidt. Upshot: The subtitle of “An Austrian Contribution” emphasizes a basic distinction between German and Austrian traditions in the philosophy of fields of science. In S. J. Schmidt’s genuinely German way of writing, one can observe a high emphasis on terminology and a specific arena of heavy philosophical problems that have to be solved in a strictly philosophical manner, whereas the (...) Austrian tradition places its importance on scientific progress, especially in the natural sciences, and on the clarifying, mediating, and self-reflecting role of philosophy within the overall context of scientific evolution. (shrink)
Kant's Reason develops a novel interpretation of Kant’s conception of reason and its philosophical significance, focusing on two claims. First, it argues that Kant presents a powerful model for understanding the unity of theoretical and practical reason as two manifestations of a unified capacity for theoretical and practical understanding (or “comprehension”). This model allows us to do justice to the deep commonalities between theoretical and practical rationality, without reducing either to the other. In particular, through it, we see why the (...) activities of both theoretical and practical reason are governed by a version of the Principle of Sufficient Reason, while also seeing why reason is essentially autonomous. At the same time, Kant's Reason also reads Kant as presenting us with a compelling picture of the role that reason (as a capacity or power) should play in a systematic approach to foundational philosophical questions. In doing so, it argues for an account of the fundamental norms that apply to rational beings that treats as fundamental neither substantive reasons or values nor merely structural rationality, but instead a robust conception of reason as a power or capacity — namely, the capacity for theoretical and practical understanding. The result is a form of “rational constitutivism” – one which contrasts both with the forms of “reasons fundamentalism” that are currently fashionable and the forms of “agency-first constitutivism” that have dominated much of Kantian metaethics. In this sense, the aim of the book is to vindicate Kant’s insistence that his philosophy represents nothing more or less than reason’s implicit self-understanding coming to explicit and systematic self-consciousness. (shrink)
In lieu of an abstract, here is the article's first paragraph: The topic of personal identity is one that I have in recent weeks really started to take personally. I’ve had some serious doubts as to just who I am, all because of uncertainties about the one fact I once felt completely confident about – my name. If there’s one thing you should be able to rely upon to know who you are it should be your own name, but lately (...) I’m not so sure. (shrink)
The people of Myanmar were struck by three major human rights disasters during the country's period of democratization from 2003 to 2012: the 2007 Saffron Revolution, the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis in 2008, and the 2012 Rakhine riots, which would evolve into the ongoing Rohingya crisis. These events saw Myanmar's government categorically labeled as an offender of human rights, and three powerful Southeast Asian member states-Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia-responded to the violations in very different ways. In each case, their responses (...) to the crises were explicitly shaped by norm conflict, which may be understood as a tension between international and domestic norms. Their reactions were compelled by a need to address conflicting domestic and international expectations for norm compliance regarding human rights protection and non-interference in internal affairs. In Norms in Conflict: Southeast Asia's Response to Human Rights Violations in Myanmar, Anchalee Rüland makes sense of state action that occurs when a governing body is faced with a circumstance that is at once in line with and contrary to its own governing policies. She defines five different types of response strategies to situations of norm conflict and examines the enabling factors that lead to each strategy. Domestic norms are known to evolve as a country's values change over time yet Rüland argues that the old and new norms may also coexist; knowledge of the underlying political context is crucial for those seeking a solid understanding of state behavior. Norms in Conflict challenges the conventional understanding of the logic of consequences in determining state behavior, advancing constructivist theory and establishing a provocative new conversation in international relations discourse. (shrink)
The book explores the impact of manuscript remarks during the year 1929 on the development of Wittgenstein's thought. Although its intention is to put the focus specifically on the manuscripts, the book is not purely exegetical. The contributors generate important new insights for understanding Wittgenstein's philosophy and his place in the history of analytic philosophy. Wittgenstein's writings from the years 1929-1930 are valuable, not simply because they marked Wittgenstein's return to academic philosophy after a seven-year absence, but because these works (...) indicate several changes in his philosophical thinking. The chapters in this volume clarify the significance of Wittgenstein's return to philosophy in 1929. In Part 1, the contributors address different issues in the philosophy of mathematics, e.g. Wittgenstein's understanding of certain aspects of intuitionism and his commitment to verificationism, as well as his idea of "a new system". Part 2 examines Wittgenstein's philosophical development and his understanding of philosophical method. Here the contributors examine particular problems Wittgenstein dealt with in 1929, e.g. the colour-exclusion problem, and the use of thought experiments as well as his relationship to Frank Ramsey and philosophical pragmatism. Part 3 features essays on phenomenological language. These chapters address the role of spatial analogies and the structure of visual space. Finally, Part 4 includes one chapter on Wittgenstein's few manuscript remarks about ethics and religion and relates it to his Lecture on Ethics. Wittgenstein's Philosophy in 1929 will be of great interest to scholars and advanced students working on Wittgenstein and the history of analytic philosophy. (shrink)
Orthodox Judaism is one of the fastest-growing religious communities in contemporary American life. According to the 2013 Pew Center Survey on American religious life, Orthodox Judaism is poised to surpass all other denominations of Judaism in the United States by 2050. Anyone who wishes to understand more about Judaism in America will need to consider the tenets and practices of Orthodox Judaism: who its adherents are, what they believe in, what motivates them, and to whom they turn for moral, intellectual, (...) and spiritual guidance. Among those spiritual leaders none looms larger than Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, heir to the legendary Talmudic dynasty of Brisk and a teacher and ordainer of thousands of rabbis during his time as a Talmud teacher at Yeshiva University from the Second World War until the 1980s. Soloveitchik was not only a Talmudic authority but a scholar of Western philosophy. While many books and articles have been written about Soloveitchik's legacy and his influence on American Orthodoxy, few have looked carefully at his disciples in Torah and Talmud study, and even fewer at his Jewish thought and philosophy. "Soloveitchik's Children: Irving Greenberg, David Hartman, Jonathan Sacks, and the Future of Jewish Theology in America" is the first book to study closely three of Soloveitchik's major disciples in Jewish thought and philosophy: Rabbis Irving ("Yitz") Greenberg, David Hartman, and Jonathan Sacks. These three figures hold unique places in modern and contemporary American Jewish life. Each has been highly influential not only within American Orthodoxy but within American Judaism more broadly; each has contributed significantly in the development of Jewish philosophy and theology in the postwar era; each has founded and presided over institutions of their own. David Ross Goodman narrates how each of these three major modern Jewish thinkers learned from and adapted Soloveitchik's teachings in their own ways, even while advancing his philosophical and theological legacy. Goodman highlights the approaches taken by Greenberg, Hartman, and Sacks to some of the most critical religious and philosophical issues of our time: Jewish-Christian relations and interfaith theology; the proper religious response to the Holocaust; the place of creativity in religious life; and the primacy of life in the Jewish tradition. The story of religious life and Judaism in contemporary America is incomplete without an understanding of how three of the most consequential Jewish thinkers of this generation adapted the teachings of one of the most consequential Jewish thinkers of the previous generation. "Soloveitchik's Children" tells this gripping intellectual and religious story in a learned, and engaging manner, shining a light on where Jewish religious thought in the United States currently stands-and where it may be heading in the coming generations. (shrink)
A layman's guide to the mechanics of Gödel's proof together with a lucid discussion of the issues which it raises. Includes an essay discussing the significance of Gödel's work in the light of Wittgenstein's criticisms.
This book examines Augustine's description of the actually existing world, especially that aspect most important for the human pursuit of happiness: the human being and God. It begins with an overview of the characteristics of the human individual and the context in which they must live out their lives, a context dominated by two seemingly contradictory realities: the existence of God and the existence of evil.