In ‘The Choice Theory of Contracts’, we advance a claim about the centrality of autonomy to contract. Since publishing Choice Theory, we have engaged dozens of reviews and responses; here, we reply to Robert Stevens, Arthur Ripstein, and Brian Bix. All this rigorous debate confirms for us one core point: contract’s ultimate value must be autonomy, properly understood and refined. Autonomy is the telos of contract and its grounding principle. In Choice Theory, we stressed the proactive facilitation component of autonomy, (...) in particular, the state’s obligation regarding contract types. Here, we highlight two additional, necessary implications of autonomy for contract: regard for future selves and relational justice. These three aspects of autonomy shape the range, limit, and floor, respectively, for the legitimate use of contract. They provide a principled and constrained path for law reform. (shrink)
This article outlines the contributions of the Kraków School to the field of science and religion. The Kraków School is a group of philosophers, scientists, and theologians who belong to the milieu of the Copernicus Center for Interdisciplinary Studies. The members of the group are engaged in inquiries pertaining to the relationship between theology and various sciences, in particular cosmology, evolutionary theory, and neuroscience. The article includes a presentation of the historical background of the School, as well as its main (...) original contributions pertaining to the history of the interactions between science and religion, the rationality and mathematicity of the universe, theology of science, and the role of logic in theology. (shrink)
The first task of the philosophy of nature -- The problem of elementarity -- The philosophical myth of creation : the Platonic philosophy of nature -- Aristotle's Physics -- Aristotle's method of cosmological speculation -- Descartes' mechanism -- Isaac Newton and the mathematical principles of natural philosophy -- The world of Leibniz : the best of all possible worlds -- Immanuel Kant : the a priori conditions of the sciences -- The romantic philosophy of nature -- The cosmology of Whitehead: (...) the universe as process -- Popper's open universe -- Science as philosophy -- Problems and methods of the philosophy of nature. (shrink)
In “The Choice Theory of Contracts,” we explain contractual freedom and celebrate the plurality of contract types. Here, we reply to critics by refining choice theory and showing how it fits and shapes what we term the “Contract Canon”. I. Freedom. (1) Charles Fried challenges our account of Kantian autonomy, but his views, we show, largely converge with choice theory. (2) Nathan Oman argues for a commerce-enhancing account of autonomy. We counter that he arbitrarily slights noncommercial spheres central to human (...) interaction. (3) Yitzhak Benbaji suggests that choice theory’s commitment to autonomy is overly perfectionist. Happily, in response to Benbaji, we can cite with approval Charles Fried’s point that contract types are “enabling our liberties.” II. Choice. (4) Aditi Bagchi criticizes our inattention to impediments to choice. We show how choice theory’s commitments to both multiplicity and relational justice ameliorate these impediments. (5) Gregory Klass explores parol evidence to highlight the mechanisms of choice. We substantially concur with his position, and show how such mechanisms can ensure voluntariness, an essential element of choice. (6) Oren Bar-Gill and Clayton Gillette question the institutional capacity of existing legal actors to implement choice theory. Working from the example of cohabitation, we offer a somewhat more optimistic view. III. Contracts. (7) Peter Benson contends our focus on the rational slights the reasonable. Although we did not use this Rawlsian vocabulary, choice theory complies with its strictures — more so than transfer theory. (8) Daniel Markovits and Alan Schwartz claim provocatively that contract theory must: capitulate before pluralism (as they endorse); leverage it; or fall victim to a so-called “embracing” approach (their charge against us). We reject the charge that choice theory is foundationally value-pluralist. Instead, we cabin pluralism and put it to work. (9) The Contract Canon starts on the next big step for choice theory by explaining existing doctrine (rebutting Benson on lack of fit) and helping adjudicate contract practice (countering Markovits and Schwartz on the vices of our pluralism). Each Article in this Issue advances the field; each prompts us to refine choice theory — all steps, we hope, toward a more just and justified law of contract. (shrink)
Contract and employment law have grown apart. Long ago, each side gave up on the other. In this Article, we reunite them to the betterment of both. In brief, we demonstrate the emancipatory potential of contract for the law of work. Today, the dominant contract theories assume a widget transaction between substantively equal parties. If this were an accurate description of what contract is, then contract law would be right to expel workers. Worker protections would indeed be better regulated by—and (...) relegated to—employment and labor law. But contract law is not what contract theorists claim. Neither is contract law what the dominant employment theorists fear—a domain that necessarily misses the constitutive place of work in people’s life-plans and overlooks the systemic vulnerability of workers to their employers. Contract, we contend, is not work law’s canonical “other.” Rightly understood, contract is an autonomy-enhancing device, one founded on the fundamental liberal commitment of reciprocal respect for self-determination. From this “choice theory” perspective, the presumed opposition between employment and contract law dissolves. We show that many employment law doctrines are not external to contract, but are instead entailed in liberal contract itself. Grounding worker protections in contract theory has two salutary effects. First, it offers workers more secure protection than that afforded by their reliance on momentary public-law compromises. Second, it reveals contract’s emancipatory potential for all of us—not just as workers, but also as widget buyers. Contract can empower, and employment can show the way. (shrink)
The author focuses on the tension "realism - idealism" in the philosophy of mathematics, but he does that from the perspective of a theoretical physicist. It is not only that one's standpoint in the philosophy of mathematics determines our understanding of the effectiveness of mathematics in physics, but also the fact that mathematics is so effective in physical sciences tells us something about the nature of mathematics.
We discuss the following problems, plaguing the present search for the “final theory”: (1) How to find a mathematical structure rich enough to be suitably approximated by the mathematical structures of general relativity and quantum mechanics? (2) How to reconcile nonlocal phenomena of quantum mechanics with time honored causality and reality postulates? (3) Does the collapse of the wave function contain some hints concerning the future quantum gravity theory? (4) It seems that the final theory cannot avoid the problem of (...) dynamics, and consequently the problem of time. What kind of time, if this theory is supposed to be background free? (5) Will the dynamics of the “final theory” be probabilistic? Quantum probability exhibits some essential differences as compared with classical probability; are they but variations of some more general probabilistic measure theory? (6) Do we need a radically new interpretation of quantum mechanics, or rather an entirely new theory of which the present quantum mechanics is an approximation? (7) If the final theory is to be background free, it should provide a mechanism of space-time generation. Should we try to explain not only the generation of space-time, but also the generation of its material content? (8) As far as the existence of the initial singularity is concerned, one usually expects either “yes” or “not” answers from the final theory. However, if the mathematical structure of the future theory is supposed to be truly more general that the mathematical structures of the present general relativity and quantum mechanics, is a “third answer“ possible? Could this third answer be related to the probabilistic character of the final theory? We discuss these questions in the framework of a working model unifying gravity and quanta. The analysis reveals unexpected aspects of these rather wildly discussed issues. (shrink)
One of the most important and most frequently discussed theological problems related to cosmology is the creation problem. Unfortunately, it is usually considered in a context of a rather simplistic understanding of the initial singularity (often referred to as the Big Bang). This review of the initial singularity problem considers its evolution in twentieth‐century cosmology and develops methodological rules of its theological (and philosophical) interpretations. The recent work on the “noncommutative structure of singularities” suggests that on the fundamental level (below (...) the Planck's scale) the concepts of space, time, and localization are meaningless and that there is no distinction between singular and nonsingular states of the universe. In spite of the fact that at this level there is no time, one can meaningfully speak about dynamics, albeit in a generalized sense. Space, time, and singularities appear only in the transition process to the macroscopic physics. This idea, explored here in more detail, clearly favors an atemporal understanding of creation. (shrink)
Written by philosophers, cosmologists, and physicists, this collection of essays deals with causality, which is a core issue for both science and philosophy. Readers will learn about different types of causality in complex systems and about new perspectives on this issue based on physical and cosmological considerations. In addition, the book includes essays pertaining to the problem of causality in ancient Greek philosophy, and to the problem of God's relation to the causal structures of nature viewed in the light of (...) contemporary physics and cosmology. [Subject: Philosophy, Cosmology, Physics, Religious Studies]. (shrink)
The author's transition from physics to the history of science was caused in a large part by his desire "to know more about the relativity paper and its author". Indeed, the entire book could be considered as an exegesis of the Einstein paper "On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies" and its broad physical and philosophical background. The special theory of relativity not only opened a new era in physics but it also changed the philosophical perspective from which man looks at (...) the universe. Intellectual struggles around the foundations of physics in the first decade of our century throw a new light on the "drama of science": "The drama of science in the making centered on the interplay between empirical data and physical theory, the clinging to notions that were neither always articulable nor clearly testable, the great investment of effort in empirical data and in already existing physical theories, and the irresistible drive toward the long-sought-after unification of the sciences". (shrink)
We propose to model spacetime by a differential space rather than by a differential manifold. A differential space is the pair (M, C), where M is any set, and C a family of real functions on M, satisfying certain axioms; C is called a differential structure of a corresponding differential space. This concept suitably generalizes the manifold concept. We show that C can be chosen in such a way that it contains all information about the causal structure of spacetime. This (...) information can be read out of C with the help of only one postulate, namely that physical signals travel along piecewise smooth curves in (M, C). We effectively construct the Minkowski spacetime, with its cone structure, in this way. Some comments are made. (shrink)
The work under consideration gives a thorough analysis of different kinds of skepticism and a very laborious chain of reasoning leading to skepticism's refutation. Many important problems, such as principles of justification and explanation, tests for economy and simplicity, and so on, appear as side issues of the main stream of reasoning. This stream is called by the author the "master argument." Its objective is to refute the form of skepticism which asserts that it is unreasonable for human beings "to (...) believe any claim entailing there are particular unperceived physical objects, past events, future events, or mental phenomena of others." The most important products of this "long, tortuous route to the conclusion" are--in the author's eyes--a particular theory of empirical justification, and a refutation of the "skepticism about induction.". (shrink)
The phenomenon of philosophizing scientists is well known in the twentieth century literature; one need mention only Arthur Eddington, James Jeans or Edmund Whittaker. Even the wide spread of neopositivistic ideology was not able to stop the best among scientists from publicly expressing their philosophical views. The writings of Einstein, Schrodinger, Heisenberg and of many other outstanding physicists have significantly shaped our way of understanding the Universe and our place in it. The fall of neopositivism and recent advances in theoretical (...) physics, which seem to touch extremities of the empirical method and to demand some sort of philosophical justification, have strengthened this tendency. The gap between philosophy and science may not exist any longer, but the gap between philosophers and scientists continues to exercise its deplorable influence on science and philosophy. The book by Barrow and Tipler testifies to both of these things: it shows how the far-reaching horizons of modern physics and cosmology could be open for philosophical thinking, and simultaneously it demonstrates how this thinking, when done by physicists, is far away from that to which professional philosophers are accustomed. I. (shrink)
J. L. Synge argued that "Euclid put us on the wrong track by taking space as the primary concept of science and relegating time to a poor second." This situation, however, has changed nowadays by reason of the influence of recent developments of Einstein's relativity theory. Whitrow himself has taken a significant role in promoting time studies. The book now under consideration is the second, completely revised edition ; its goal is to give a general framework for the study of (...) time. Let us have a closer look at the book's content. (shrink)
"The 'new' often consists not in the invention of new categories of thought but rather in surprising employment of existing ones". The book proves this thesis, in an ingenious manner, as far as the origins of modern science are concerned. For a contemporary historian of science, the idea that the sciences had their roots in philosophical and theological thinking of the Middle Ages is hardly a surprise, but to know exactly how this did happen makes a profound difference. The book (...) is not based on new texts or new findings in the history of science--the author calls it "an interpretative essay only"--but it offers a deep insight into the evolution of concepts and ideas. The reader, under the author's guidance, can trace some evolutionary paths in a very detailed manner. In spite of being "an interpretative essay," it is the solid work of a historian. (shrink)
Following the works of Popper, people usually do not believe that induction is a method of science: inductive reasoning has been effectively replaced by different versions of falsificationism. Rescher argues that falsificationism cannot be considered as a "genuine alternative" to inductivism, because the object of inquiry is to find out the truth, and falsification of a hypothesis excludes only one possibility, but leaves all others open. "If we know that fingerprint is not X's, that still leaves Y, Z, and a (...) great many others". The point is, however, that contemporary science, in fact, employs the method "of hypothesis and testing, of conjecture and refutations", and we should guess science's goals from actual scientific methods rather than conversely. Nonetheless, one should admit that certain elements of inductive reasoning are inherent in the scientific method and a sort of induction certainly plays an important role in everyday situations. This makes the problem of induction actual and Rescher's book is to be welcomed as giving a new insight into the question. (shrink)
Shahn Majids philosophy of physics is critically presented. In his view the postulate that the universe should be self-explaining implies that no fundamental theory of physics is complete unless it is self-dual. Majid shows that bicrossproduct Hopf algebras have this property. His philosophy is compared with other approaches to the ultimate explanation and briefly analyzed.
This is a new, enlarged edition of a very well known monograph, "Concepts of Space," originally published in English in 1954 by Harvard University Press. The present edition is based on the first German translation by P. Wilpert in 1960 with the last chapter specially added by the author.
Property concerns conflicts — both conflicts between individuals and conflicts of interest. Conflicts between individuals have long been the paradigmatic property focus. According to this view, property debates circle around issues of autonomy and productive competition. But this is an impoverished view. In this Article, we shift attention to conflicts of interest. By helping people manage conflicts of interest, a well-governed property system balances interdependence with autonomy and productive cooperation with productive competition. We identify three mechanisms woven throughout property law (...) that help manage conflicts of interest: internalization of externalities; democratization of management; and de-escalation of transactions. We show that property law predictably selects among these mechanisms depending on the ratio of economic to social benefits that people seek from a group resource. When economic concerns predominate, property law typically uses contribution-based allocations of rights and responsibilities mediated by formal, foreground procedures, while at the social end of the spectrum we tend to see more egalitarian substantive rules operating as an informal, background safety net. (shrink)
The standard property trilogy of private, commons, and state has become so outdated that it now impedes imagination and innovation at the frontiers of ownership. This essay suggests two approaches - creating new ideal types and synthesizing existing ones - that may help update our static property metaphors. Using these dynamic approaches to property analytics, legal theory can move beyond polarizing oppositions that have made jurisprudential debates unsolvable and rendered concrete problems invisible.