This Open Access book (see link to Taylor & Francis below) critically examines the recent discussions of powers and powers-based accounts of causation. The author then develops an original view of powers-based causation that aims to be compatible with the theories and findings of natural science. Recently, there has been a dramatic revival of realist approaches to properties and causation, which focus on the relevance of Aristotelian metaphysics and the notion of powers for a scientifically informed view of causation. In (...) this book, R.D. Ingthorsson argues that one central feature of powers-based accounts of causation is arguably incompatible with what is today recognised as fact in the sciences, notably that all interactions are thoroughly reciprocal. Ingthorsson’s powerful particulars view of powers-based causation accommodates for the reciprocity of interactions. It also draws out the consequences of that view for the issue of causal necessity and offers a way to understand the constitution and persistence of compound objects as causal phenomena. Furthermore, Ingthorsson argues that compound entities, so understood, are just as much processes as they are substances. A Powerful Particulars View of Causation will be of great interest to scholars and advanced students working in metaphysics, philosophy of science, and neo-Aristotelian philosophy, while also being accessible for a general audience. (shrink)
McTaggart’s argument for the unreality of time, first published in 1908, set the agenda for 20th-century philosophy of time. Yet there is very little agreement on what it actually says—nobody agrees with the conclusion, but still everybody finds something important in it. This book presents the first critical overview of the last century of debate on what is popularly called "McTaggart’s Paradox". Scholars have long assumed that McTaggart’s argument stands alone and does not rely on any contentious ontological principles. The (...) author demonstrates that these assumptions are incorrect—McTaggart himself explicitly claimed his argument to be dependent on the ontological principles that form the basis of his idealist metaphysics. The result is that scholars have proceeded to understand the argument on the basis of their own metaphysical assumptions, duly arriving at very different interpretations. This book offers an alternative reading of McTaggart’s argument, and at the same time explains why other commentators arrive at their mutually incompatible interpretations. It will be of interest to students and scholars with an interest in the philosophy of time and other areas of contemporary metaphysics. (shrink)
In R. D. Ingthorsson’s provocative and carefully researched book, McTaggart’s Paradox, the author aims to demonstrate that “practically every writer is guilty of some or other of the misunderstandings of McTaggart’s paradox that I outline in this book”. The most dramatic misunderstanding that commentators make is the failure to realize that McTaggart’s argument for the unreality of time depends on the principle of temporal parity: the thesis that all times, whether A times or B times, exist equally or co-exist. (...) Since temporal parity is also a central tenet of the B view, B-theorists cannot use McTaggart’s paradox to support their view as temporal parity also demonstrates that the B-theory cannot accommodate change or account for the temporality of earlier than and later than. Ingthorsson concludes that only if we reject temporal parity, the B view, and all versions of the A view except presentism, can we account for the intuitively plausible view, “the one that coincides with ‘the man on the street’ … that only those things exist that exist now, and that only those things will count as co-existing that are simultaneous with each other”. (shrink)
This volume has 41 chapters written to honor the 100th birthday of Mario Bunge. It celebrates the work of this influential Argentine/Canadian physicist and philosopher. Contributions show the value of Bunge’s science-informed philosophy and his systematic approach to philosophical problems. The chapters explore the exceptionally wide spectrum of Bunge’s contributions to: metaphysics, methodology and philosophy of science, philosophy of mathematics, philosophy of physics, philosophy of psychology, philosophy of social science, philosophy of biology, philosophy of technology, moral philosophy, social and political (...) philosophy, medical philosophy, and education. The contributors include scholars from 16 countries. Bunge combines ontological realism with epistemological fallibilism. He believes that science provides the best and most warranted knowledge of the natural and social world, and that such knowledge is the only sound basis for moral decision making and social and political reform. Bunge argues for the unity of knowledge. In his eyes, science and philosophy constitute a fruitful and necessary partnership. Readers will discover the wisdom of this approach and will gain insight into the utility of cross-disciplinary scholarship. This anthology will appeal to researchers, students, and teachers in philosophy of science, social science, and liberal education programmes. 1. Introduction Section I. An Academic Vocation Section II. Philosophy Section III. Physics and Philosophy of Physics Section IV. Cognitive Science and Philosophy of Mind Section V. Sociology and Social Theory Section VI. Ethics and Political Philosophy Section VII. Biology and Philosophy of Biology Section VIII. Mathematics Section IX. Education Section X. Varia Section XI. Bibliography. (shrink)
Ingthorsson, McTaggart’s Paradox and the R-theory of Time L. Nathan Oaklander University of Michigan-Flint, USA [email protected] his provocative book, McTaggart’s Paradox, R.D. Ingthors- son argues that McTaggart’s argument for the unreality of time rests on the principle of temporal parity according to which all times or events in time exist equally or co-exist in a sense that is compatible with their being successive. Moreover, since temporal parity is also an essential tenet of the B-theory, McTaggart’s argument against the reality (...) of time can also be used to undermine the B-theory. Ingthorsson argues further that only by adopting an ontologically frugal presentist metaphysics can one avoid McTaggart’s paradox and account for identity through time and change. The aim of this paper is to clarify Russell’s authentic view of time in con- trast to the B-theory which is McTaggart’s misrepresentation of Russell and argue that temporal parity it is not a fundamental tenet of the Rus- sellian theory. For that reason, the R-theory is immune to objections that are based on temporal parity. I shall then offer my own interpretation of McTaggart’s paradox that renders Ingthorsson’s version of presentism subject to it. (shrink)
This book describes empirically ways to analyze and then to effectually utilize cognitive processes to advance discovery and invention in the sciences. It also explains how to teach these principles to students.
In this monograph R. W. Beardsmore presents a lucid and readable presentation of what he takes moral reasoning to be and what he expects moral reasoning to accomplish. It is another in the long list of works which attempt to apply later-Wittgensteinian insights to the problems of ethics. The common moves run this way: Wittgenstein insists that to say that something is justified, or to say there are justifiable reasons for some position implies some fundamental agreement in our language game. (...) Moral argumentation can only take place within the context of a shared ethical language game. This moral viewpoint invests, what appear to be facts with value. According to Beardsmore the importance of shared moral viewpoints is missed by R. M. Hare with his dichotomizing of fact and value and his insistence on a decision of principle. Beardsmore also attacks the position of Phillipa Foot whom he sees on the opposite side of the issue from Hare. He sees Foot as insisting on the necessary dependence of values upon facts, which leads to her inability to account for changing moral viewpoints. Beardsmore tries to show that these views of Foot and Hare agree at least on one point, that there must be one specific way to give reasons for moral positions and hence solve moral disputes. Beardsmore has made a significant contribution by offering an illuminating application of Wittgenstein's insights to the problems of ethical theory. If they did nothing more, these insight's would be important in so far as they help to unlock the hold that the fact-value dichotomy has imposed on ethical theory for so long.--R. F. D. (shrink)
A condensed, richly annotated and documented collection of essays interpreting Aristotle as a doxographer and historian of philosophy who presents his predecessors faithfully and accurately. Though exceedingly scholarly, the book is written with a fine sensitivity for those Aristotelian questions which truly belong to our age; a chapter on the meaning of physis deals critically with Heidegger's reading of the Stagirite, and another reviews recent inquiries into Aristotelian "dialectic."--R. C. D.
A metaphysical continuum employing the opposing poles of interiority and exteriority is introduced in the first several sections by means of which all types of realities are to be located ontologically—an approach to ontology which aims at correcting the one-sidedness of ontologies from Parmenides and Democritus on. From the perspective of this bi-directional ontology inorganic, organic, and human realities are seen to be continuous but distinguishable with reference to the kinds of cessation or death which take place on each respective (...) level. Among the questions which are examined in the central portion of the book are: How is an "experience of death" ever possible? Can the various experiences of another's death yield some general idea which can apply to all possible cases of human death? Mora's answers run strikingly counter to the conclusions of Sein und Zeit in important respects.—R. G. D. (shrink)
With his usual conciseness and lucidity, Körner attempts to show what philosophy is by looking at what it does, i.e., by investigating its problems, its branches and its history. Körner begins by setting out classic problems ranging from the problem of class-existence to the problem of freedom, and follows this by an investigation of various methodologies. After this introductory material the bulk of the book ranges over the central problems of most branches of philosophy and concludes with a brief sketch (...) of the history of philosophy. Of special note is Körner's treatment of metaphysics to which he gives an entire section of almost seventy pages. Those familiar with Körner's other work will find it a concise summary of his notion of metaphysics as exhibition and/or replacement-analysis of categorial frameworks. Also of note is his refreshing treatment of philosophy of mind. He sees the problem of intentionality as the chief consideration for that branch of philosophy. Although he makes mention of the linguistic approach to philosophy of mind his main thrust is to set the problems in Brentano's terms and show how the mind-body problem and theories of truth are handled from that framework. There are some drawbacks in the book. First: given the length of his treatment of metaphysics one could wish that somewhere Körner in his explication of metaphysics had given some recognition to the realistic alternatives to his transcendental metaphysics. Second: one must wonder to whom the book is addressed. The conciseness of Körner's style allows him to range over an unbelievably large area, but in such a pithy manner that it seems almost unimaginable that the educated layman will be able to follow the presentations and arguments, particularly those interspersed with logical notation. For example, how much value is there in condensing the logic of truth-functions, quantification and axiomatization into less than ten pages? For those in the field it is repetitive, for those not, it must be nearly unintelligible. One feels Körner really wanted to write a defense of metaphysics. This may have been a more efficacious project eliminating the need to write first for one audience then for another. The book is concise, lucid, and illuminating.--R. F. D. (shrink)
Developed from the author's own explorations as a poet and novelist, from the classics of European existential philosophy, and from the "positive existentialism" of Nicola Abbagnano, this work presents a creative and careful integration of divergent strands in contemporary philosophy. Invrea contributes an original discussion of the complementary characteristics of subjective existence--"situationality" and temporality. This study displays the vigor and seriousness of the Italian existentialists.--R. C. D.
This volume is a revival and updating of the rationalism initiated by the Cartesian cogito. Even the four main divisions of the work give evidence of this: Perception, the Real World, Real Mind, and the Suprarational. The order of treatment is not identical in every respect with that of Descartes, but the four main themes are indubitably Cartesian. While the protagonist is Descartes, the antagonist to whom this volume is consciously addressed is the empiricist and the positivist. Professor Robinson seems (...) intent on convincing the contemporary positivist that science is primarily an affair of reason and secondarily one of experience. He enlists two formidable allies of Descartes to elucidate and solidify his position. One he finds in the same century as Descartes, the redoubtable Leibniz; the other he takes from the twentieth century, Bertrand Russell. The problem of perception is resolved by the joint solution of Leibniz and Russell, a solution which rejects a naive realism in favor of a metarealism. The singular attraction of this volume is the personal dedication and expertise which Professor Robinson brings to this subject. His exploration and defense of his rationalistic premise brings him to examine epistemic issues and paradoxes which have cast long shadows over the history of modern and contemporary philosophy in Western civilization. These are the issues with which the inheritors of the Cartesian cogito have been wrestling: Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant. Another very attractive aspect of this volume is that whereas Professor Robinson’s thesis has its protagonist and antagonist, it does not explicitly address itself to these. They remain more in the background as the audience to whom the book is addressed. They are not called on explicitly to engage in the exposition. In this sense, the book is not presented as a professorial treatise with copious footnotes and an extensive bibliography. It is presented as a personal exposition engaging in the act of philosophizing within the letter and spirit of a rationalistic revival. In spite of this personal and personalized renewal of rationalism on the part of Professor Robinson, it should not be construed that the book is written either for the layman or by a layman. It is a methodical and technical exposition replete with the coinage of new terms befitting the spirit of a philosophy operating within the parameters of a self-enclosed and self-contained scientism. Professor Robinson presents his book as a viable alternative to the monopoly which the empiricist and positivist have exercised within the domain of the philosophy of science.—R.E.D. (shrink)
In this volume are collected sixteen previously-published essays dealing with sociology's peculiarity as a science, and with such general problems in sociological thinking as ideology, technology, culture, and the search for community. Ferrarotti's guiding principle is that truth is "intersubjective reality," and his goal is "to accept the other man as man" and thus to "guarantee the opening towards existential involvement with the truth-truth as participation."--R. C. D.
Existential analysis, according to Binswanger, is not a psychopathology, and is not necessarily therapeutic; it is not founded upon the medical standards of "sick" and "healthy." The eight writers in this volume illustrate that the suspension of such norms widens and deepens the field of philosophical anthropology, and hold that we may talk meaningfully about the "human condition." Taking "alienation" as an aspect of that condition, four of the authors explore some of its manifestations and its place in the totality (...) of experience. As a whole, the volume is bold and engaging, and balances scholarly rigor with adventurous speculation.--R. C. D. (shrink)
The author interprets those facets of major American thinkers which resemble, lead to, or complement the insights of Zen; and if a pedantic scholar might quarrel with some of his readings, his own intention and insights are refreshing and provocative. Beginning with Jefferson, and passing through Thoreau, James, Peirce, Santayana, Dewey, and others, he traces the Zen-like themes to their most complete expression in G. M. Mead. In - their regard for non-dualism, participation, responsibility, dynamism, openness, concern for the "everyday," (...) compassion, zest, and being-at-one with self, others, and nature, Ames finds that Zen and American thought meet, and suggests that their differences can be mutually fertilizing. This gentle book is a success in a field too often plagued by non-conformist and cultish postures. --R. C. D. (shrink)
The book is subtitled "An Approach to Sanity and Happiness on a Non-Sectarian Basis," and is a personal meditation and discourse on the appeal of the Zen outlook. The author wishes not only to exhibit the sense of Zen, but also to contribute to the erosion of fossilized Western prejudices. The criticisms are gentle; the style manifests wu-wei.--R. C. D.
The chosen subject for this volume is "Philosophy and Psychiatry," and most of the contributors deal with it. Charles Hartshorne's article on Whitehead, Rudolf Aller's on Ontoanalysis, and Bernard Boelen's on "Human Development and Fixations in Moral Life" are engaging and rich contributions. The influence of Husserl, deWaelhens, and Binswanger is considerable, and is rendered quite compatible with the Thomisitic point of view. --R. C. D.
The author--biologist, physiologist, and psychologist--shows the limitations of the all-too-scientific approaches to the human being, and argues effectively that "psychology requires an ontological interpretation of human existence." Psychology and philosophy must return to the living subject as their basis, the subject as self-and-context. The ultimate meaning of "physiological" pain lies in the person's disposition towards pain and his consequent reactions to its occurrence. Although he does not discuss abstract phenomenological principles, he works in an altogether phenomenological way, and throughout the (...) book enlightens the continuous path between man, the object of scientific study, and man, the subject in an ethical world.--R. C. D. (shrink)
Shipley presents the first modern commentary on Plutarch's Life of Agesilaos together with the full Greek text and a bibliography. Plutarch's biographies have long been valued for their literary, philosophic, and historiographic content, and the Life of Agesilaos, king of Sparta for forty years after the Peloponnesian war, has special interest as an introduction to Greek history, society, and culture in the fourth century, a critical period that has received little attention in comparison with the fifth century in Athens. Internal (...) problems in Sparta followed the accession of Agesilaos: failures of hierarchical cohesion, unrest among social and subject groups, and division between aggressive and moderate foreign policies. Plato and Aristotle, Ephoros, Xenophon, Diodoros, and Nepos contributed variously to the knowledge and understanding of the period, and Plutarch created from their evidence -- and other sources -- an independent, penetrating, and balanced account of the character of those in power, and of Sparta, at their best and in decline. (shrink)
Twenty-two thinkers apply their various and excellent talents to the problem of "demythization" as posed originally by Rudolf Bultmann. In part, the problem is to understand message and event as two aspects of Christ's life and resurrection, and to delineate mythological, historical, and existential interpretations of the divine entry into world-history. The entire collection is of the highest level of boldness, care, scholarship, and originality.--.
Many structures in nature are invariant under the transformation pair, (p,r)→(b r,−p/b), where b is some scale factor. Born’s reciprocity hypothesis affirms that this invariance extends to the entire Hamiltonian and equations of motion. We investigate this idea for atomic physics and galactic motion, where one is basically dealing with a 1/r potential and the observations are very accurate, so as to determine the scale b≡mΩ. We find that an Ω∼1.5×10−15 s−1 has essentially no effect on atomic physics but might (...) possibly offer an explanation for galactic rotation, without invoking dark matter. (shrink)
We argue that abduction does not work in isolation from other inference mechanisms and illustrate this through an inference scheme designed to evaluate multiple hypotheses. We use game theory to relate the abductive system to actions that produce new information. To enable evaluation of the implications of this approach we have implemented the procedures used to calculate the impact of new information in a computer model. Experiments with this model display a number of features of collective belief-revision leading to consensus-formation, (...) such as the influence of bias and prejudice. The scheme of inferential calculations invokes a Peircian concept of ‘belief’ as the propensity to choose a particular course of action. (shrink)
Psychopaths continue to be demonised by the media and estimates suggest that a disturbing percentage of the population has psychopathic tendencies. This timely and controversial new book summarises what we already know about psychopathy and antisocial behavior and puts forward a new case for its cause - with far-reaching implications. Presents the scientific facts of psychopathy and antisocial behavior. Addresses key questions, such as: What is psychopathy? Are there psychopaths amongst us? What is wrong with psychopaths? Is psychopathy due to (...) nature or nurture? And can we treat psychopaths? Reveals the authors' ground-breaking research into whether an underlying abnormality in brain development leaves psychopaths with an inability to feel emotion or fear. The resulting theory could lead to early diagnosis and revolutionize the way society, the media and the state both views and contends with the psychopaths in our midst. (shrink)