There are at least three core principles that define the chance role: ill the Principal Principle, l21 the Basic Chance Principle, and l31 the Humean Principle. These principles seem mutually incompatible. At least, no extant account of chance meets more than one of them. I ofier an account of chance which meets all three: L~-chance. So the good news is that L~-chance meets ill ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â€Â l31. The bad news is that L~-chance turns out unlawful and unstable. But perhaps this is (...) not such bad news: L~-chance turns out to at least approximate plausible additional core principles concerning lawfulness and stability. And perhaps there is better news: one may treat 'chance' as vague, in a way that allows every core principle of chance to be met. (shrink)
Many philosophers have been attracted to the view that reasons are premises of good reasoning – that reasons to φ are premises of good reasoning towards φ-ing. However, while this reasoning view is indeed attractive, it faces a problem accommodating outweighed reasons. In this article, I argue that the standard solution to this problem is unsuccessful and propose an alternative, which draws on the idea that good patterns of reasoning can be defeasible. I conclude by drawing out implications for the (...) debate over pragmatic reasons for belief and other attitudes and for one influential form of reductionism about the normative. (shrink)
Alan Millar's paper (2011) involves two parts, which I address in order, first taking up the issues concerning the goal of inquiry, and then the issues surrounding the appeal to reflective knowledge. I argue that the upshot of the considerations Millar raises count in favour of a more important role in value-driven epistemology for the notion of understanding and for the notion of epistemic justification, rather than for the notions of knowledge and reflective knowledge.
Presents an analysis of Jonathan Edwards' theological position. This book includes a study of his life and the intellectual issues in the America of his time, and examines the problem of free will in connection with Leibniz, Locke, and Hume.
Jonathan Dancy works within almost all fields of philosophy but is best known as the leading proponent of moral particularism. Particularism challenges “traditional” moral theories, such as Contractualism, Kantianism and Utilitarianism, in that it denies that moral thought and judgement relies upon, or is made possible by, a set of more or less well-defined, hierarchical principles. During the summer of 2006, the Philosophy Departments of Lund University (Sweden) and the University of Reading (England) began a series of exchanges to (...) take place every other year, alternating between the departments. Andreas Lind and Johan Brännmark arranged to meet Dancy during the first meeting in Lund to talk about questions regarding particularism, moral theory and the shape of the analytical tradition. The major part of the conversation is printed below. (shrink)
Jonathan Y. Tsou examines and defends positions on central issues in philosophy of psychiatry. The positions defended assume a naturalistic and realist perspective and are framed against skeptical perspectives on biological psychiatry. Issues addressed include the reality of mental disorders; mechanistic and disease explanations of abnormal behavior; definitions of mental disorder; natural and artificial kinds in psychiatry; biological essentialism and the projectability of psychiatric categories; looping effects and the stability of mental disorders; psychiatric classification; and the validity of the (...) DSM's diagnostic categories. The main argument defended by Tsou is that genuine mental disorders are biological kinds with harmful effects. This argument opposes the dogma that mental disorders are necessarily diseases that result from biological dysfunction. Tsou contends that the broader ideal of biological kinds offers a more promising and empirically ascertainable naturalistic standard for assessing the reality of mental disorders and the validity of psychiatric categories. (shrink)
Prepared by editors of the distinguished series The Works of Jonathan Edwards, this authoritative anthology includes selected treatises, sermons, and autobiographical material by early America’s greatest theologian and philosopher.
The dominant approach to environmental policy endorsed by conservative and libertarian policy thinkers, so-called “free market environmentalism”, is grounded in the recognition and protection of property rights in environmental resources. Despite this normative commitment to property rights, most self-described FME advocates adopt a utilitarian, welfare-maximization approach to climate change policy, arguing that the costs of mitigation measures could outweigh the costs of climate change itself. Yet even if anthropogenic climate change is decidedly less than catastrophic, human-induced climate change is likely (...) to contribute to environmental changes that violate traditional conceptions of property rights. Viewed globally, the actions of some countries—primarily industrialized nations—are likely to increase environmental harms suffered by other countries—less developed nations that have not made any significant contribution to climate change. It may well be that aggregate human welfare would be maximized in a warmer, wealthier world, or that the gains from climate change will offset environmental losses. Yet such claims, even if demonstrated, would not address the normative concern that the consequences of anthropogenic global warming would infringe upon the rights of people in less-developed nations. As a consequence, this paper calls for a rethinking of FME approaches to climate change policy. (shrink)
Every religion offers both hope and fear. They offer hope in virtue of the benefits promised to adherents, and fear in virtue of costs incurred by adversaries. In traditional Christianity, the costs incurred are expressed in terms of the doctrine of hell, according to which each person consigned to hell receives the same infinite punishment. This strong view of hell involves four distinct theses. First, it maintains that those in hell exist forever in that state (the Existence Thesis) and that (...) at least some human persons will end up in hell (the Anti-Universalism Thesis). Once in hell, there is no possibility of escape (the No Escape Thesis), and the justification of and purpose for hell is to mete out punishment to those whose earthly lives and character deserve it (the Retribution Thesis). (shrink)
v. 1. Freedom of the will -- v. 2. Religious affections -- v. 3. Original sin -- v. 4. The Great Awakening -- v. 5. Apocalyptic writings -- v. 6. Scientific and philosophical writings -- v. 7. The life of David Brainerd -- v. 8. Ethical writings -- v. 9. A history of the work of redemption -- v. 10. Sermons and discourses, 1720-1723 -- v. 13. The "miscellanies" (entry nos. a-z, aa-zz, 1-500) -- v. 15. Notes on Scripture -- (...) v. 17. Sermons and discourses, 1730-1733 -- v. 18. The "miscellanies" (entry nos. 501-832) -- v. 19. Sermons and discourses, 1734-1738 -- v. 20. The miscellanies -- v. 22. Sermons and discourses, 1739-1742 -- v. 24. The "blank Bible" (2 v.). (shrink)
How do we explain the truth of true propositions? Truthmaker theory is the branch of metaphysics that explores the relationships between what is true and what exists. It plays an important role in contemporary debates about the nature of metaphysics and metaphysical enquiry. -/- In this book Jonathan Tallant argues, controversially, that we should reject truthmaker theory. In its place he argues for an 'explanationist' approach. Drawing on a deflationary theory of truth he shows that it allows us to (...) explain the truth of true propositions and respond to recent arguments that purport to show otherwise. He augments this with a distinction between internally and externally quantified claims: externally quantified claims are claims that quantify over elements of our ontology that play an indispensable explanatory role; internally quantified claims do not. He deploys this union of deflationism and a distinction between kinds of quantification to pursue metaphysical inquiry, sketching the implications for a number of first-order debates, including those in the philosophy of time, modality and mathematics, and also shows how this explanationist model can be used to solve the key problems that afflicted truthmaker theory. -/- Truth and the World is an important contribution to debates about truth and truthmaker theory as well as metametaphysics, the metaphysics of time and the metaphysics of mathematics, and is essential reading for students and scholars engaged in the study of these topics. (shrink)
For a century at least, parties have been central to the study of politics. Yet their typical conceptual reduction to a network of power-seeking elites has left many to wonder why parties were ever thought crucial to democracy. This book seeks to retrieve a richer conception of partisanship, drawing on modern political thought and extending it in the light of contemporary democratic theory and practice. Looking beyond the party as organization, the book develops an original account of what it is (...) to be a partisan. It examines the ideas, orientations, obligations, and practices constitutive of partisanship properly understood, and how these intersect with the core features of democratic life. Such an account serves to underline in distinctive fashion why democracy needs its partisans, and puts in relief some of the key trends of contemporary politics. (shrink)
A minimal essentialism (‘intrinsic biological essentialism’) about natural kinds is required to explain the projectability of human science terms. Human classifications that yield robust and ampliative projectable inferences refer to biological kinds. I articulate this argument with reference to an intrinsic essentialist account of HPC kinds. This account implies that human sciences (e.g., medicine, psychiatry) that aim to formulate predictive kind categories should classify biological kinds. Issues concerning psychiatric classification and pluralism are examined.
In my Practical Reality I argued that the reasons for which we act are not to be conceived of as psychological states of ourselves, but as real states of the world. The main reason for saying this was that only thus can we make sense of the idea that it is possible to act for a good reason. The good reasons we have for doing this action rather than that one consist mainly of features of the situations in which we (...) find ourselves; they do not consist in our believing certain things about those situations. For instance, the reason for my helping that person is that she is in trouble and I am the only person around. It is not that I believe both that she is in trouble and that I am the only person around. Give that the reason to help is that she is in trouble etc., it must be possible for my reason for helping to be just that, if it is indeed possible for one to act for a good reason. In fact, this sort of thing must be the normal arrangement. The reasons why we act, therefore, that is, our reasons for doing what we do, are not standardly to be conceived as states of ourselves, but as features of our situations. (shrink)
Jonathan Webber articulates an original interpretation of existentialism as the ethical theory that human freedom is the foundation of all other values. Offering an original analysis of classic literary and philosophical works published by Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, and Frantz Fanon up until 1952, Webber's conception of existentialism is developed in critical contrast with central works by Albert Camus, Sigmund Freud, and Maurice Merleau-Ponty. -/- Presenting his arguments in an accessible and engaging style, Webber contends that Beauvoir and (...) Sartre initially disagreed over the structure of human freedom in 1943 but Sartre ultimately came to accept Beauvoir's view over the next decade. He develops the viewpoint that Beauvoir provides a more significant argument for authenticity than either Sartre or Fanon. He articulates in detail the existentialist theories of individual character and the social identities of gender and race, key concerns in current discourse. Webber concludes by sketching out the broader implications of his interpretation of existentialism for philosophy, psychology, and psychotherapy. (shrink)
A neurologist presents evidence for locating the unconscious--Freud's concept--within the actual physiology of the brain, in a study that explains current knowledge about perception, memory, sleep, dreams, and Freud's theory of the unconscious.
John Stuart Mill argued, in his Principles of Political Economy, that existing laws and customs of private property ought to be reformed to promote a far more egalitarian form of capitalism than hitherto observed anywhere. He went on to suggest that such an ideal capitalism might evolve spontaneously into a decentralized socialism involving a market system of competing worker co-operatives. That possibility of market socialism emerged only as the working classes gradually developed the intellectual and moral qualities required for worker (...) co-operatives to succeed against private firms. Workers would tend to reject the hierarchical wage relation as they developed the requisite personal qualities, he believed, and capitalists, facing escalating wages for skilled labour as a result of the diminishing supply of high-quality workers for hire, would tend to lend their capital to the worker co-operatives ‘at a diminishing rate of interest, and at last, perhaps, even to exchange their capital for terminable annuities. In this or some such mode’, he speculated, ‘the existing accumulations of capital might honestly, and by a kind of spontaneous process, become in the end the joint property of all who participate in their productive employment: a transformation which, thus effected, would be the nearest approach to social justice, and the most beneficial ordering of industrial affairs for the universal good, which it is possible at present to foresee.’. (shrink)
Forty years ago, Bayesian philosophers were just catching a new wave of technical innovation, ushering in an era of scoring rules, imprecise credences, and infinitesimal probabilities. Meanwhile, down the hall, Gettier’s 1963 paper  was shaping a literature with little obvious interest in the formal programs of Reichenbach, Hempel, and Carnap, or their successors like Jeffrey, Levi, Skyrms, van Fraassen, and Lewis. And how Bayesians might accommodate the discourses of full belief and knowledge was but a glimmer in the eye (...) of Isaac Levi.Forty years later, scoring rules, imprecise credences, and infinitesimal probabilities are all the rage. And the formal and “informal” traditions are increasingly coming together as Bayesian arguments spill over into debates about the foundations of empirical knowledge, skepticism, and more. Relatedly, Bayesian interest in full belief and knowledge has never been greater.Much more besides has happened in the last forty years of Bayesian philosophy, .. (shrink)
This book provides readers with an introduction to epistemology within the Buddhist intellectual tradition. It is designed to be accessible to those whose primary background is in the “Western” tradition of philosophy and who have little or no previous exposure to Buddhist philosophical writings. The book examines many of the most important topics in the field of epistemology, topics that are central both to contemporary discussions of epistemology and to the classical Buddhist tradition of epistemology in India and Tibet. Among (...) the topics discussed are Buddhist accounts of: the nature of knowledge episodes, the defining conditions of perceptual knowledge and of inferential knowledge, the status of testimonial knowledge, and skeptical criticisms of the entire project of epistemology. The book seeks to put the field of Buddhist epistemology in conversation with contemporary debates in philosophy. It shows that many of the arguments and debates occurring within classical Buddhist epistemological treatises coincide with the arguments and disagreements found in contemporary epistemology. The book shows, for example, how Buddhist epistemologists developed an anti-luck epistemology—one that is linked to a sensitivity requirement for knowledge. Likewise, the book explores the question of how the study of Buddhist epistemology can be of relevance to contemporary debates about the value of contributions from experimental epistemology, and to broader debates concerning the use of philosophical intuitions about knowledge. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that presentism —the view that only present objects exist—can be motivated, at least to some degree, by virtue of the fact that it is more quantitatively parsimonious than rival views.
In 1970 Amartya Sen exposed an apparent antinomy that has come to be known as the Paradox of the Paretian Libertarian. Sen introduced his paradox by establishing a simple but startling theorem. Roughly put, what he proved was that if a mechanism for selecting social choice functions satisfies two standard adequacy conditions, there are possible situations in which it will violate either the very weak libertarian precept that every individual has at least some rights or the seemingly innocuous Paretian principle (...) that an option should be judged unacceptable if there is an available alternative that everyone prefers to it. Many economists and philosophers have proposed solutions to Sen's problem, but there is no general consensus on what solution is correct. In the present paper I argue that Sen's original theorem fails to establish the existence of any conflict between libertarianism and Paretianism. Furthermore, I contend that Sen has misinterpreted certain other theorems which he has used to defend the existence of a paradoxical conflict between these two doctrines. In general, I try to show that whenever Sen posits a Paretian-libertarian conflict to explain an apparently troubling result in social choice theory, the difficulty can be better dealt with either by claiming that the theorem in question imposes overly strong background constraints on the form of social choice functions or by claiming that it relies on an unacceptable construal of individual rights. (shrink)
You are creditworthy for φ-ing only if φ-ing is the right thing to do. Famously though, further conditions are needed too – Kant’s shopkeeper did the right thing, but is not creditworthy for doing so. This case shows that creditworthiness requires that there be a certain kind of explanation of why you did the right thing. The reasons for which you act – your motivating reasons – must meet some further conditions. In this paper, I defend a new account of (...) these conditions. On this account, creditworthiness requires that your motivating reasons be normative reasons, and that the principles from which you act match normative principles. (shrink)
Originally published posthumously in 1955, Harvey G. Townsend's Philosophy of Jonathan Edwards reprinted some of Edwards' most important early compositions on natural philosophy, Of Being and The Mind, and collected nearly two hundred Miscellanies entries, some of them published here for the first time. In his introduction, Townsend points to Edwards' radical idealism that derived from Christian Platonism and John Locke rather than George Berkeley, as commonly thought. Townsend's work represents an important sourcebook for Edwards' writings, and his introduction (...) presents a clear picture of mainstream Edwards scholarship at the middle of the twentieth century. (shrink)
Arrhenius and Rabinowicz have argued that Millian qualitative superiorities are possible without assuming that any pleasure, or type of pleasure, is infinitely superior to another. But AR's analysis is fatally flawed in the context of ethical hedonism, where the assumption in question is necessary and sufficient for Millian qualitative superiorities. Marginalist analysis of the sort pressed by AR continues to have a valid role to play within any plausible version of hedonism, provided the fundamental incoherence that infects AR's use of (...) such analysis is removed. But what AR call ‘Millian superiorities’ are never genuine qualitative superiorities in Mill's sense. Mill scholars need to appreciate this point and recognize that the interpretation of qualitative superiorities as infinite superiorities is the only interpretation which is compatible with the text of Mill's Utilitarianism. The continuing failure to appreciate the possibility of infinite superiorities has precluded any adequate understanding of the extraordinary structure of Mill's pluralistic hedonistic utilitarianism. (shrink)
In this paper, we defend Lucretian Presentism. Although the view faces many objections and has proven unpopular with presentists, we rehabilitate Lucretianism and argue that none of the objections stick.
Morality exercises a deep and questionable influence on the way we live our lives. The influence is deep both because moral injunctions are embedded in our psyches long before we can reflect on their status and because even after we become reflective agents, the question of how we should live our lives among others is intimately bound up with the more general question of how we should live our lives: our stance toward morality and our conception of our lives as (...) having significance are of a piece. The influence is questionable because morality pretends to a level of objectivity that it may not possess. Moral injunctions are meant to be binding on us in some way that is independent of the desires or preferences we may happen to have. When one asserts that a certain action is morally worthy or shameful one is, prime facie, doing more than merely expressing approval or disapproval or trying to get others to act as instruments of one's own will. If moral assertions were shown, at bottom, to be merely such exhortations, then they would be shown to wear a disguise. Morality would be revealed as pretending to an objectivity it does not have, and such a revelation could not but have a profound impact on our lives. It is doubtful that such a revelation could be kept locked up inside our studies. (shrink)
Recent debate over the empirical psychological presuppositions of virtue ethics has focused on reactive behavioural dispositions. But there are many character traits that cannot be understood properly in this way. Such traits are well described by attitude psychology. Moreover, the findings of attitude psychology support virtue ethics in three ways. First, they confirm the role of habituation in the development of character. Further, they show virtue ethics to be compatible with the situation manipulation experiments at the heart of the recent (...) debate. Finally, they show how the cognitive-affective theory of personality and the two-system theory of behavioural cognition are compatible, thereby undermining the current empirical challenge to virtue ethics. Empirical research into the nature and development of attitudes should therefore be central to philosophical discussions of virtue and character. (shrink)
Although The Origin of Species contained just a single visual illustration, Charles Darwin's other books, from his monograph on barnacles in the early 1850s to his volume on earthworms in 1881, were copiously illustrated by well-known artists and engravers. In this 2006 book, Jonathan Smith explains how Darwin managed to illustrate the unillustratable - his theories of natural selection - by manipulating and modifying the visual conventions of natural history, using images to support the claims made in his texts. (...) Moreover, Smith looks outward to analyse the relationships between Darwin's illustrations and Victorian visual culture, especially the late-Victorian debates about aesthetics, and shows how Darwin's evolutionary explanation of beauty, based on his observations of colour and the visual in nature, were a direct challenge to the aesthetics of John Ruskin. The many illustrations reproduced here enhance this fascinating study of a little known aspect of Darwin's lasting influence on literature, art and culture. (shrink)
I came to epistemology through an interest in the concept of rationality, and especially through the attacks on the rationality of religious believers. My thoughts at the time focused on the disappointing quality of the arguments for and against religious belief, and I recall being astonished at the time that philosophers capable of such penetrating insight in other areas had nothing that seemed either penetrating or original. The defenders sounded too much like mere apologists for the faith, and the attackers (...) arid and dull, with both sides often exuding a scent of intellectual dishonesty. (shrink)