In this short response we show that Kevin Smith's moral and ethical rejections of homeopathy1 are fallacious and rest on questionable epistemology. Further, we suggest Smith's presumption of a utilitarian stance is an example of scientism encroaching into medicine.
A decade in the making, the _Handbook i_s the definitive contemporary exposition of interpersonal psychoanalysis. It provides an authoritative overview of development, psychopathology, and treatment as conceptualized from the interpersonal viewpoint.
Deflationists about truth seek to undermine debates about the nature of truth by arguing that the truth predicate is merely a device that allows us to express a certain kind of generality. I argue that a parallel approach is available in the case of logical consequence. Just as deflationism about truth offers an alternative to accounts of truth's nature in terms of correspondence or justification, deflationism about consequence promises an alternative to model-theoretic or proof-theoretic accounts of consequence's nature. I then (...) argue, against considerations put forward by Field and Beall, that Curry's paradox no more rules out deflationism about consequence than the liar paradox rules out deflationism about truth. (shrink)
Building on recent work, I present sequent systems for the non-classical logics LP, K3, and FDE with two main virtues. First, derivations closely resemble those in standard Gentzen-style systems. Second, the systems can be obtained by reformulating a classical system using nonstandard sequent structure and simply removing certain structural rules (relatives of exchange and contraction). I clarify two senses in which these logics count as “substructural.”.
ABSTRACT:‘Race’ has long searched for a stable, suitable idea, with no consensus on a master meaning in sight. What I call deflationary pluralism about the existence of race recognizes that various meanings may be true as far as they go but avoids murky disputes over whether there are races in some sense. Once we have rejected the notion that racial essences yield innate cognitive differences, there is little point to arguing over the race idea. In its place, I propose the (...) idea of socioancestry, which jettisons racial thinking yet recognizes the social dynamics of color. For example, Black Americans, many of whom have traceable non-African ancestry, constitute an Africa-identified, socioancestrally black subgroup. ‘Race’ talk is not needed to sustain legitimate color-conscious approaches to social identity and social justice. Long-standing fixation on the race idea has obscured the simple truth that visible continental ancestry is the root of the social reality of color consciousness. (shrink)
According to commitment accounts of assertion, asserting is committing oneself to something’s being the case, where such commitment is understood in terms of norms governing a social practice. I elaborate and compare two version of such accounts, liability accounts (associated with C.S. Peirce) and dialectical norm accounts (associated with Robert Brandom), concluding that the latter are more defensible. I argue that both versions of commitment account possess a potential advantage over rival normative accounts of assertion in that they needn’t presuppose (...) any notion of an assertion’s correctness. Additionally, I show how dialectical norm accounts can explain relations between assertion and truth. After setting forth objections that have been raised against commitment accounts, I argue that responses are available on behalf of dialectical norm accounts. Finally, I propose that a liberalized dialectical norm account can illuminate phenomena sometimes seen as supporting truth relativism. (shrink)
Innocence is a notion that can prove controversial. Claims of innocence typically support not imposing burdens on the innocent when their conduct is relevantly unobjectionable. This paper examines innocence in the context of violent conflict between states or groups. Many thinkers about the morality of such violence want to establish a principle that would protect innocent civilians. Yet the common view in just war theory does not affirm the moral innocence of civilians. Similarly, the common view that soldiers have an (...) equal right to kill does not affirm their equal moral culpability. (shrink)
The revisionary approach to semantic paradox is commonly thought to have a somewhat uncomfortable corollary, viz. that, on pain of triviality, we cannot affirm that all valid arguments preserve truth (Beall2007, Beall2009, Field2008, Field2009). We show that the standard arguments for this conclusion all break down once (i) the structural rule of contraction is restricted and (ii) how the premises can be aggregated---so that they can be said to jointly entail a given conclusion---is appropriately understood. In addition, we briefly rehearse (...) some reasons for restricting structural contraction. (shrink)
Rejecting structural contraction has been proposed as a strategy for escaping semantic paradoxes. The challenge for its advocates has been to make intuitive sense of how contraction might fail. I offer a way of doing so, based on a “naive” interpretation of the relation between structure and logical vocabulary in a sequent proof system. The naive interpretation of structure motivates the most common way of blaming Curry-style paradoxes on illicit contraction. By contrast, the naive interpretation will not as easily motivate (...) one recent noncontractive approach to the Liar paradox. (shrink)
Development of the shapes of living organisms and their parts is a field of science in which there are no generally accepted theoretical principles. What form these principles are likely to take, when they emerge, is a subject in which there is a wide gulf of disagreement between physical scientists and experimental biologists. This book contains both an extensive philosophical commentary on this dichotomy in views and an exposition of the type of theory most favoured by physical scientists. In this (...) theory living form is a manifestation of the dynamics of chemical change and physical transport or other physics of spatial communication. The reaction-diffusion theory, as initiated by Turing in 1952 and since elaborated by Prigogine and by Gierer and Meinhardt among others, is discussed in detail at a level that requires a good knowledge of a first course in calculus, but no more than that. The great growth of molecular biology has tended to overshadow the increase in our understanding of the nature of these kinetic processes. This book seeks to reawaken interest in dynamics in the hope that a better balance between the importance of things and the importance of actions may emerge in the biology of the 21st century. (shrink)
Huw Price holds that a recognizable version of expressivism about normative and modal language can be “globalized” so as to apply to all areas of discourse. He focuses on globalizing the anti-representationalism of expressivist theories. By contrast, this paper’s topic is the seldom-discussed way Price seeks to globalize the expressivist view that “non-descriptive” discourse exhibits subjectivity. I argue that Price’s own argument against the possibility of a purely objective domain conflicts with his anti-representationalism and is self-undermining. I then defend a (...) different strategy for arguing that a kind of subjectivity can emerge even in domains traditional expressivists have regarded as purely objective. I do so by using an account of assertoric practice to offer a new solution to a puzzle concerning how to describe contingent histories in the use of natural kind terms. (shrink)
Lionel Penrose (1898–1972) was an important leader during the mid-20th century decline of eugenics and the development of modern medical genetics. However, historians have paid little attention to his radical theoretical challenges to mainline eugenic concepts of mental disease. Working from a classification system developed with his colleague, E. O. Lewis, Penrose developed a statistically sophisticated and clinically grounded refutation of the popular position that low intelligence is inherently a disease state. In the early 1930s, Penrose advocated dividing “mental (...) defect” (low intelligence) into two categories: “pathological mental defect,” which is a disease state that can be traced to a distinct genetic or environmental cause, and “subcultural mental defect,” which is not an inherent disease state, but rather a statistically necessary manifestation of human variation in intelligence. I explore the historical context and theoretical import of this contribution, discussing its rejection of typological thinking and noting that it preceded Theodosius Dobzhansky’s better-known defense of human diversity. I illustrate the importance of Penrose’s contribution with a discussion of an analogous situation in contemporary medicine, the controversial practice of using human growth hormone injections to treat “idiopathic short stature” (mere diminutive height, with no distinct cause). I show how Penrose’s contributions to understanding human variation make such treatments appear quite misguided. (shrink)
Can we ever experimentally disentangle phenomenal consciousness from the cognitive accessibility inherent to conscious reports? In this commentary, we suggest that (1) Block's notion of phenomenal consciousness remains intractably entangled with the need to obtain subjective reports about it; and (2) many experimental paradigms suggest that the intuitive notion of a rich but non-reportable phenomenal world is, to a large extent illusory – in a sense that requires clarification.
This paper aims to call into question the customary division of logically revisionary responses to the truth-theoretic paradoxes into those that are “substructural” and those that are “ structural.” I proceed by examining, as a case study, Beall’s recent proposal based on the paraconsistent logic LP. Beall formulates his response to paradox in terms of a consequence relation that obeys all standard structural rules, though at the price of the language’s lacking a detaching conditional. I argue that the same response (...) to paradox can be given using a consequence relation that preserves detachment rules for a conditional, though at the price of restricting structural rules. The question “Is paradox being blocked by invoking a substructural consequence relation?” is thus ill-posed. The lesson of this example, I conclude, is that there is no useful explication of the idea of a substructural approach to paradox. (shrink)
This introductory chapter attempts to clarify the philosophical, empirical, and theoretical bases on which a cognitive neuroscience approach to consciousness can be founded. We isolate three major empirical observations that any theory of consciousness should incorporate, namely (1) a considerable amount of processing is possible without consciousness, (2) attention is a prerequisite of consciousness, and (3) consciousness is required for some specific cognitive tasks, including those that require durable information maintenance, novel combinations of operations, or the spontaneous generation of intentional (...) behavior. We then propose a theoretical framework that synthesizes those facts: the hypothesis of a global neuronal workspace. This framework postulates that, at any given time, many modular cerebral networks are active in parallel and process information in an unconscious manner. An information becomes conscious, however, if the neural population that represents it is mobilized by top-down attentional amplification into a brain-scale state of coherent activity that involves many neurons distributed throughout the brain. The long-distance connectivity of these `workspace neurons' can, when they are active for a minimal duration, make the information available to a variety of processes including perceptual categorization, long-term memorization, evaluation, and intentional action. We postulate that this global availability of information through the workspace is what we subjectively experience as a conscious state. A complete theory of consciousness should explain why some cognitive and cerebral representations can be permanently or temporarily inaccessible to consciousness, what is the range of possible conscious contents, how they map onto specific cerebral circuits, and whether a generic neuronal mechanism underlies all of them. We confront the workspace model with those issues and identify novel experimental predictions. Neurophysiological, anatomical, and brain-imaging data strongly argue for a major role of prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate, and the areas that connect to them, in creating the postulated brain-scale workspace. (shrink)
According to traditional logical expressivism, logical operators allow speakers to explicitly endorse claims that are already implicitly endorsed in their discursive practice — endorsed in virtue of that practice’s having instituted certain logical relations. Here, I propose a different version of logical expressivism, according to which the expressive role of logical operators is explained without invoking logical relations at all, but instead in terms of the expression of discursive-practical attitudes. In defense of this alternative, I present a deflationary account of (...) the expressive role of vocabulary by which we ascribe logical relations. (shrink)
Brandom's "inferentialism"—his theory that contentfulness consists in being governed by inferential norms—proves dubiously compatible with his own deflationary approach to intentional objectivity. This is because a deflationist argument, adapted from the case of truth to that of correct inference, undermines the criterion of adequacy Brandom employs in motivating inferentialism. Once that constraint is abandoned, moreover, the very constitutive-explanatory availability of Brandom's inferential norms becomes suspect. Yet Brandom intertwines inferentialism with a separate explanatory project, one that in explaining the pragmatic significance (...) of meaning-attributions does yield a convincing construal of the claim that the concept of meaning is normative. (shrink)
Several authors have argued that a version of Curry's paradox involving validity motivates rejecting the structural rule of contraction. This paper criticizes two recently suggested alternative responses to “validity Curry.” There are three salient stages in a validity Curry derivation. Rejecting contraction blocks the first, while the alternative responses focus on the second and third. I show that a distinguishing feature of validity Curry, as contrasted with more familiar forms of Curry's paradox, is that paradox arises already at the first (...) stage. Accordingly, blocking the second or third stages won't suffice for resolving the paradox. (shrink)
The advent and expanding role of jurilinguistics as part of the federal legislative process are closely associated with the gradual recognition of the equal authority of the two linguistic versions of federal legislation, as well as the implementation of co-drafting as the most effective method of taking into account the equal authority of the two official languages of the country. Jurilinguistics gradually made its way into the federal legislative process starting in the mid 70s and quickly resulted in the establishment (...) of a formal group dealing with French jurilinguistics, comprised of Francophone drafters and jurilinguists. Jurilinguists played a key role in the development of drafting standards for the drafting of a truly authentic French version of federal legislation. In the late 90s, Anglophone jurilinguists were also hired to ensure the highest quality possible for the English version of the federal laws and, along with their Francophone counterparts, to ensure the functional equivalence of the two language versions. The implementation of the departmental policy on legislative bijuralism constituted an additional challenge for the drafter who, fortunately, can rely on comparative law experts, as well as the sound advice of the jurilinguists, to produce legislative texts that are consistent with the principles of clarity in drafting legal documents. (shrink)
Locke's claims about the "inadequacy" of substance-ideas can only be understood once it is recognized that the "sort" represented by such an idea is not wholly determined by the idea's descriptive content. The key to his compromise between classificatory conventionalism and essentialism is his injunction to "perfect" the abstract ideas that serve as "nominal essences." This injunction promotes the pursuit of collections of perceptible qualities that approach ever closer to singling out things that possess some shared explanatory-level constitution. It is (...) in view of this norm regulating natural-historical inquiry that a substance-idea represents a sort for which some such constitution serves as the "real essence," i.e. as that on which all the sort's characteristic "properties" depend. (shrink)
There is a standard objection against purported explanations of how a language L can express the notion of being a true sentence of L. According to this objection, such explanations avoid one paradox (the Liar) only to succumb to another of the same kind. Even if L can contain its own truth predicate, we can identify another notion it cannot express, on pain of contradiction via Liar-like reasoning. This paper seeks to undermine such ‘revenge’ by arguing that it presupposes a (...) dubious assumption about the linguistic expression of concepts. Successful revenge would require that there be a notion other than truth that plays the same role with respect to concept-expression that truth is naturally thought to play before we are confronted with the Liar paradox. (shrink)
The lexicon of religion has been widely used in the context of the social and cultural transformations associated with the ‘digital revolution’, whether in metaphoric or in realistic terms. The study of digital magic/magic in digital times, the other side of the coin of the Sacred 2.0, is still in its infancy. Yet, references to magic are made frequently in reflections about the rapid development of the digitalisation of society and culture, and they deserve more in-depth study. This paper tackles (...) the issue of magic in and of new technologies, including artificial intelligence devices. After a broad outline of the presence of magic in the digital ecosystem, this paper will focus on the lexical surface and semantic references to ‘magical thinking’, explore the underlying reasons for such references and unveil the regimes of existence for magic. Finally, the paper questions the role of language in the construction of a ‘digital magic’ and the transformations of the semantic category of magic as seen through the prism of a cultural revolution, that of the digitalisation of societies. (shrink)
: McDowell opposes the view that the intentionality of language and thought remains mysterious unless it can be understood ‘from outside the conceptual order’. While he thinks the demand for such a ‘sideways-on’ understanding can be the result of ‘scientistic prejudice’, he points to Sellars's thought as exhibiting a different source: a distortion of our perspective ‘from within the conceptual order’. The distortion involves a failure on Sellars's part to see how descriptions from within the conceptual order can present expressions (...) and mental acts as related to extra-conceptual objects (a failure in turn explained by his failure to see how such relations could have normative import). In this paper, I argue that Sellars's thought suffers from no such distortion. If that is right, McDowell's examination of Sellars has not uncovered a disorder whose treatment might help relieve the desire for a sideways-on view. (shrink)
This paper contrasts two versions of a pragmatist critique of deflationism about truth. According to the critique, understanding the practice of factual discourse requires understanding a role played in that practice by speakers’ use of the concept of truth. Huw Price takes this role to lie in the expression of attitudes of approval and disapproval toward other speakers’ assertions. Proceeding from Robert Brandom’s analysis of assertion, I defend an alternative account of truth’s role in terms of the acknowledgement and disacknowledgement (...) of communicative authority. I explain why this account fails to yield Price’s key anti-deflationary conclusion, namely that engaging in factual discourse requires holding that false assertion are ipso facto normatively incorrect. (shrink)
This paper examines two explanations Sellars gives, at successive stages of his career, of how semantic vocabulary lets us relate linguistic expressions to extra-linguistic reality. Despite their differences, both explanations reveal a distinctive pragmatist approach. According to Sellars, we do not use semantic vocabulary to describe language-world relations. Rather, our taking language to relate to the world is implicit in the moves licensed by our semantic assertions. I argue that Sellars's discussions of the function of semantic vocabulary point to an (...) overlooked position regarding the relation between the concepts of meaning and truth. According to him, the function of meaning ascriptions cannot be explained independently of the function of truth ascriptions. That is because the function of meaning ascriptions essentially involves licensing claims about the world when combined with truth ascriptions. If he is right, this poses a challenge to deflationary accounts of the function of truth talk. (shrink)
According to relativist accounts of discourse about, e.g., epistemic possibility and matters of taste, the truth of propositions must be relativized to nonstandard parameters. This paper argues that the central thrust of such accounts should be understood independently of relative truth, in terms of a perspectival account of assertoric force. My point of departure is a stripped-down version of Brandom’s analysis of the normative structure of discursive practice. By generalizing that structure, I make room for an analogue of the “assessment (...) sensitivity” MacFarlane characterizes in terms of relative truth. I argue that my reformulation supplies a stronger rationale for the most distinctive feature of MacFarlane’s brand of relativism, its account of when speakers ought to retract assertions. Furthermore, I show that the view usually regarded as a “moderate” alternative to MacFarlane’s “radical” relativism requires the more radical deviation from an absolutist account of assertoric force. (shrink)
It is generally assumed that Descartes invokes “objective being in the intellect” in order to explain or describe an idea’s status as being “of something.” I argue that this assumption is mistaken. As emerges in his discussion of “materially false ideas” in the Fourth Replies, Descartes recognizes two senses of ‘idea of’. One, a theoretical sense, is itself introduced in terms of objective being. Hence Descartes can’t be introducing objective being to explain or describe “ofness” understood in this sense. Descartes (...) also appeals to a pretheoretical sense of ‘idea of’. I will argue that the notion of objective being can’t serve to explain or describe this “ofness” either. I conclude by proposing an alternative explanation of the role of objective being, according to which Descartes introduces this notion to explain the mind’s ability to attain clear and distinct ideas. (shrink)
While compliments are usually intended to give credit and insults offense, the latter cannot simply be treated as opposites of the former. For example, a speaker can give credit to others as well as himself/herself. But while a speaker can offend others, it is less clear that a speaker can offend himself/herself. Understanding why this should be so provides us with a key insight into the nature of insults, namely, that it is predicated on the presumption that some dissimilarity exists (...) between the speaker and the target of the insult. Various interesting implications follow from this insight, allowing us to understand why competitive ritualized exchanges of insults are more commonly attested than are analogous competitions involving compliments; better appreciate the ideological bases of politically correct speech; and adjudicate on the relative merits of various theories of politeness, in particular, on claims concerning the relationship between politeness and face. (shrink)
“Curry’s paradox”, as the term is used by philosophers today, refers to a wide variety of paradoxes of self-reference or circularity that trace their modern ancestry to Curry (1942b) and Löb (1955). The common characteristic of these so-called Curry paradoxes is the way they exploit a notion of implication, entailment or consequence, either in the form of a connective or in the form of a predicate. Curry’s paradox arises in a number of different domains. Like Russell’s paradox, it can take (...) the form of a paradox of set theory or the theory of properties. But it can also take the form of a semantic paradox, closely akin to the Liar paradox. Curry’s paradox differs from both Russell’s paradox and the Liar paradox in that it doesn’t essentially involve the notion of negation. Common truth-theoretic versions involve a sentence that says of itself that if it is true then an arbitrarily chosen claim is true, or—to use a more sinister instance—says of itself that if it is true then every falsity is true. The paradox is that the existence of such a sentence appears to imply the truth of the arbitrarily chosen claim, or—in the more sinister instance—of every falsity. In this entry, we show how the various Curry paradoxes can be constructed, examine the space of available solutions, and explain some ways Curry’s paradox is significant and poses distinctive challenges. (shrink)