In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: Hume's Skepticism about Inductive Inference N. SCOTT ARNOLD IT HAS BEEN A COMMONPLACE among commentators on Hume's philosophy that he was a radical skeptic about inductive inference. In addition, he is alleged to have been the first philosopher to pose the so-called problem of induction. Until recently, however, Hume's argument in this connection has not been subject to very close scrutiny. As attention has become focused on this (...) argument, a debate has been shaping up concerning just what Hume intended to establish here. The principal purpose of this article is to settle this interpretive issue as decisively as the texts permit. I should also like to locate Hume's main argument about induction in the larger context of his discussion of skepti- cism in book 1 of the Treatise. I shall suggest that arguments for the radical skepticism commonly attributed to Hume can be found only very late in book 1 of the Treatise and that the most famous argument about inductive inference establishes and is intended to establish only a relatively modest form of skepticism. The argument under consideration can found in book l, part 3, section 6 of the Treatise. It can also be found in essays 4 and 5 of the Enquiries and in the abstract of the Treatise published anonymously by Hume. I shall concen- trate on the Treatise version since it is the first and perhaps most explicit formulation of the argument and because part of my purpose is to place this argument in the larger context of book 1 of the Treatise. The received opinion concerning Hume's argument has it that Hume was highly skeptical about the mind's claims to knowledge about the future (or, more generally, about the unobserved). All beliefs arrived at via inductive I should like to thank M. G. Anderson, John Bahde, Jon Nordy, and Robert Paul Wolff, as well as David Fate Norton and a referee for the Journal of the History of Philosophy, for helpful comments on earlier drafts on this article. 32 HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY inferences are unreasonable or unjustified. The alternative interpretation, to be defended below, is that Hume held that no such belief is or can be rendered certain relative to past experience and that such beliefs are not, upon that account, unreasonable or unjustified. Something like this inter- pretation has been defended by Tom L. Beauchamp, Thomas Mappes, and Alexander Rosenberg. ~ My view differs from theirs in that I shall argue that Hume did offer arguments for the more radical skepticism commonly attri- buted to him (though it is unclear whether he regarded them as decisive). These arguments, however, come at the end of book ~ of the Treatise and are independent of the more famous argument to be discussed below. Defenders of the received view are both numerous and distinguished. Versions of this interpretation of the main argument can be found in the writings of Karl Popper, Wesley Salmon, F. L. Will, and Norman Kemp Smith; most recently a variation on the standard interpretation has been defended by Barry Stroud. The fullest and most elaborate defense of the standard interpretation can be found in a monograph by D. C. Stove. '~ Stove's discussion is perhaps the most impressive because of his painstaking efforts to lay bare the structure of Hume's reasoning and to give a line-by- line analysis of the argument. This has the effect of bringing more clearly into focus the main grounds for the standard view. If this standard interpre- tation is correct, then Hume's position is that scientific method is epistemically no better than "superstition" and "enthusiasm." And, Hume would be among those for whom this claim, if true, would be very bad news, because one of his primary purposes in the Treatise is to construct a science of man. Thus, this argument is of considerable internal significance because, if my opponents are correct, Hume appears to have cut the ground out from under what he took to be one of his most important projects -- the construc- tion of a science of man. The other feature of this argument that makes it worthy of serious con- sideration is that it is philosophically... (shrink)
To paraphrase Freud, what do socialists really want? It is undoubtedly difficult to give a complete answer to this question that all socialists would be satisfied with, but there are some common elements that can hardly be denied. First and foremost among these is the elimination of capitalism; the elimination of capitalism would seem to require the elimination of capitalists. Why might that be desirable? Well, many reasons might be offered, but one is suggested by the very nature of capitalism.
Imposing Values provides an even-handed characterization of the differences between modern liberalism and classical liberalism about the proper scope of government. It also systematically and comprehensively discusses arguments for and against various regulatory regimes favored by modern liberals and opposed by classical liberals.
One feature of socialism that has been little discussed in the recent revival of interest in Marx is the basic form of economic organization that will characterize such a society. Marx's view, to be documented in what follows, is that socialism would not have a market economy. This prediction should be a matter of some embarrassment or consternation to twentieth-century socialists outside of the Soviet bloc who claim a Marxist heritage. Despite the fact that some socialist regimes in the first (...) half of this century did carry out a program of abolishing the market, the abolition of markets is no longer on the agenda for developed and developing countries. On the Left, anyway, some form of market socialism seems to be the preferred alternative; Yugoslavia is often pointed to as an imperfect real world exemplar of what market socialism might be like. (shrink)
Marx believed that what most clearly distinguished him and Engels from the nineteenth-century French socialists was that their version of socialism was “scientific” while the latters' was Utopian. What he intended by this contrast is roughly the following: French socialists such as Proudhon and Fourier constructed elaborate visions of a future socialist society without an adequate understanding of existing capitalist society. For Marx, on the other hand, socialism was not an idea or an ideal to be realized, but a natural (...) outgrowth of the existing capitalist order. Marx's historical materialism is a systematic attempt to discover the laws governing the inner dynamics of capitalism and class societies generally. Although this theory issues in a prediction of the ultimate triumph of socialism, it is a commonplace that Marx had little to say about the details of post-capitalist society. Nevertheless, some of its features can be discerned from his critical analysis of capitalism and what its replacement entails. (shrink)
This essay is about the moral and political justification of affirmative action programs in the United States. Both legally and politically, many of these programs are under attack, though they remain ubiquitous. The concern of this essay, however, is not with what the law says but with what it should say. The main argument advanced in this essay concludes that most of the controversial affirmative action programs are unjustified. It proceeds in a way that avoids dependence on controversial theories of (...) justice or morality. My intention is to produce an argument that is persuasive across a broad ideological spectrum, extending even to those who believe that justice requires these very programs. Though the main focus of the essay is on affirmative action, in the course of making the case that these programs are illegitimate, I shall defend some principles about the conditions under which it is appropriate for the state to impose on civil society the demands of justice. These principles have broader implications for a normative theory of social change in democratic societies. (shrink)
Can market socialism realize the socialist vision of the good society by ending exploitation and alienation, substantially reducing inequalities of wealth and income, ensuring full employment, and correcting other market irrationalities? A comparative analysis of the organizational forms of capitalism (notably the small owner?operated firm and the large corporation) and market socialism (the self?managed cooperative that rents its capital from the state) reveals the relative efficiencies of capitalism in reducing transaction costs, in turn reducing the opportunities for exploitation. By contrast, (...) the transaction cost inefficiencies of the organizations of market socialism permit and encourage forms of exploitation that are precluded or discouraged under capitalism. (shrink)
Philosophy Then and Now provides an innovative and engaging blend of introductory text with classic and contemporary readings. Each of the eight parts begins with an introductory section on the major ideas associated with a seminal figure from the history of philosophy. This is followed by key selections from the essential writings of that philosopher, as well as influential selections from contemporary figures. Key figures covered include: Socrates, Aquinas, Locke, Descartes, Mill, Nietzsche, Marx, and Sartre. By focusing on the core (...) themes, issues and problems of philosophy, the volume motivates student interest in the subject, and represents a distinctive text for all introductory courses in philosophy. (shrink)
The Endangered Species Act can impose significant limitations on what landowners may do with their property, especially as it pertains to development. These restrictions imposed by the ESA are part of a larger controversy about the reach of the “Takings Clause” of the Fifth Amendment, which says that private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation. The question this paper addresses is whether these restrictions require compensation. The paper develops a position on the general question of (...) compensation for regulatory takings and applies it to the ESA. The main argument concludes that compensation should be paid. It is based on the proposition that the goods provided by regulatory takings are typically public goods, and on a principle of fairness, which holds that compensation should be paid when those who benefit from a regulatory taking pay virtually nothing and those who pay receive hardly any benefit. It is argued that this principle is implicit in many of the Court's rulings on regulatory takings. (shrink)
Aux Etats-Unis les gouvernements des Etats tout autant que le gouvernement fédéral jouent un rôle important dans le traitement des effets des sinistres naturels. Le gouvernement fédéral subventionne lassurance-inondations pour les individus, les entreprises privées et les gouvernements dEtats et locaux, et il affecte des fonds sur une base ad hoc pour reconstruire après de très importants sinistres naturels tels que de fortes inondations ou des tremblements de terre. Les gouvernements des Etats réglementent lassurance-seïsme et lassurance-ouragan en imposant à lensemble (...) des assurances et à certains de leurs utilisateurs de subventionner dautres assurés. Cet article analyse les diverses formes dimplications gouvernementales dans lassistance des sinistres et évalue de manière critique les arguments normatifs pour ces formes de participations et de réglementations. Il propose que le gouvernement fédéral se retire du marché de lassurance-inondation et que les gouvernements des états arrêtent de réglementer les marchés dassurance privés qui obligent des gens à subventionner lassurance pour dautres.Government at both the state and federal level in the United States has an extensive role in dealing with the effects of natural disasters. The federal government provides subsidized flood insurance to private individuals, businesses, and state and local government, and it appropriates f unds on an ad hoc basis for rebuilding after highly visible natural disasters such as large floods and earthquakes. State governments regulate earthquake insurance and hurricane insurance in ways that force the insurance industry and some of its customers to subsidize other policyholders. This essay details the various forms of government involvement in disaster assistance and critically evaluates the normative arguments for these forms of government involvement and regulation. It proposes that the federal government should withdraw from the flood insurance market and that state governments should stop regulating private insurance markets in such a way that some people are forced to subsidize insurance for others. (shrink)
Since Schweickart asserts that I have not addressed his main argument, let me consider briefly the four claims he advances at the beginning of his second reply. Regarding 1: To argue, as I have, that there would be a strong tendency for market socialism to degenerate into capitalism, it is necessary to spell out carefully what capitalism is. Following Marx, I defined capitalism as a system in which the workers do not control the means of production and the workers sell (...) their labor power as a commodity. As G.A. Cohen has pointed out, this definition can be given a rechtsfrei characterization in terms of effective powers over means of production and labor power. Actual legal arrangements are not the issue. In my original paper, I never said that the workers would sell the means of production. Thus 1 is irrelevant. The real questions are: Who effectively controls the means of production? Who effectively gets the profits? If the answer to both of these questions is, “Not the workers,” it follows that the workers are effectively proletarians and the system is a form of capitalism. (shrink)
This paper answers the title question, “Yes,” on both counts. The first part of the paper argues that modern liberals are socialists, and the second part argues that they are also social democrats. The main idea behind the first argument is that the state has effectively taken control of the incidents of ownership through its taxation, spending, and regulatory policies. The main idea behind the second argument is that the institutions of social democracy are replicated by the institutions favored by (...) modern American liberalism. Specifically, the takeover of the American healthcare system, Social Security, employers' mandatory contributions to unemployment insurance, and workers' compensation insurance replicate the institutions of social democracy. (shrink)
David Schweickart has challenged a number of claims that are central to my argument that market socialism would probably degenerate into something only nominally distinguishable from capitalism. Chief among these is the claim that competitive pressures would force the workers in a worker-controlled firm to create pay and authority differentials that would make such firms structurally homologous to capitalist firms. Schweickart challenges this on two fronts: He argues that there is no good reason to believe that market forces under market (...) socialism would create the pay and authority differentials characteristic of capitalism. He further argues that certain structural features of market socialism would insure that competition would not be as intense as it is under capitalism. Consequently, even if capitalistically structured firms were more efficient, it would not make much difference, since no sword of Damocles would hang over the heads of those firms whose workers prefer more collectivist methods of control. Let us consider each of these points in turn. (shrink)
Historically, critics of capitalism have had a great deal to say about the defects and social ills that afflict capitalist society and correspondingly little to say about how alternative institutional arrangements might solve these problems. One can only speculate about why this has been so. One reason might be a simple matter of priorities. Bertolt Brecht once said that when a man's house is on fire, one does not inquire too closely into alternative arrangements for shelter. The analogy between capitalism (...) and a burning house may seem overwrought today, but in the dark days of the Depression of the 1930s it probably seemed more apt. Another explanation for the scant attention paid to alternatives to capitalism has to do with both the factual and ideological beliefs of capitalism's critics. If one believes that the existing order would be destroyed by a mass movement, that new institutions would be constructed by the people in a democratic spirit, and that furthermore all of this would be a good thing, it would be unwise and counterproductive to try to spell out exactly where history is headed. After all, a genuine mass movement has little use for self-proclaimed prophets of history. Finally, men and women of modest intellectual pretensions might be humbled by the prospects of trying to spell out in any detail social institutions that should exist or might exist but are not as yet found anywhere in the world. (shrink)
In 1992, the city of Boulder, Colorado, passed an ordinance forbidding discrimination against homosexuals in employment and housing. Two years later, voters in the state of Colorado passed a constitutional amendment forbidding the passage of local ordinances prohibiting this form of discrimination. The constitutional amendment did not mandate discrimination against homosexuals; it merely nullified ordinances such as Boulder's. The amendment was later struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court as unconstitutional.