There are experts in arithmetic, music, tennis, and fencing. But are there experts in morality? It is not surprising that there should be people like moral philosophers who are experts in moral theory, just as there are experts in tennis or music theory. But the question concerns whether there are analogues in morality of the expert tennis player or violinist. The unsophisticated answer might be that confessors, counselors, and perhaps even psychiatrists seem to qualify as moral experts in the relevant (...) sense. In turn, most conscientious confessors, counselors, and psychiatrists would deny that they themselves are experts in morality, even though they might claim expertise in divinity, marital advising, or treating emotional disorders. There are, moreover, persuasive philosophical arguments against the possibility of anyone’s being a moral expert, of which certain venerable reasonings of Socrates, Kant, and Ryle may be taken as representative. By examining several venerable arguments against the possibility of moral experts, we will, however, discover much to be said for the unsophisticated answer to the question. (shrink)
In this paper, a game-theoretical semantics is developed for the so-called alpha part of Charles S. Peirce's System of Existential Graphs of 1896. This alpha part is that portion of Peirce's graphs that corresponds to propositional logic. The paper both expounds a game-theoretical semantics for the graphs that seems close to Peirce's own intentions and proves for the alpha part of the graphs that this semantics is adequate.
Lines of identity in Peirce's existential graphs are logically complex structures that comprise both identity and existential quantification. Yet geometrically they are simple: linear continua that cannot have “furcations” or cross “cuts.” By contrast Peirce's “ligatures” are geometrically complex: they can both have furcations and cross cuts. Logically they involve not only identity and existential quantification but also negation. Moreover, Peirce makes clear that ligatures are composed of lines of identity by virtue of the fact that such lines can be (...) “connected” with one another and can “abut upon” one another at a cut. This paper shows in logical detail how ligatures are composed and how they relate to identity, existential quantification, and negation. In so doing, it makes use of Peirce's non-standard account of the linear continuum, according to which, when a linear continuum is separated into two parts, the parts are symmetric rather than asymmetric, and the one point at which separation occurs actually becomes two points, each of which is a Doppelgänger of the other. (shrink)
In 1910, only four years before his death, Peirce began an adumbration of a life's worth of major results concerning nondeductive logic—results that he had reached after more than forty-five years of extremely careful and detailed investigations2—as follows: "I must premiss that we, all of us, use this word ["probability"] with a degree of laxity which corrupts and rots our reasoning to a degree that very few of us are at all awake to."3 Peirce continued the adumbration by outlining his (...) mature theory, according to which, contrary to what is generally supposed, there is not just one measure of "falling short of certainty,"4 viz. probability. Rather, there are three utterly distinct and mutually incommensurable .. (shrink)
So comprehensive and meticulous is the scholarship in this study that it would be impossible in a brief review to survey all of its salient claims, let alone to enter into the critical debate which they invite. Brito’s principal objective is expository, viz., “to comment literally, in the light of the System and in particular the diverse elaborations of the Logic, upon the ensemble of Christological texts from the Phenomenology of Spirit, the Berlin Lectures and the Encyclopedia,” and in this (...) way to render more plausible Hegel’s own claim that his work could well be termed a “speculative Good Friday”. Following Hyppolite, Brito’s procedure is both “genetic” and “systematic.” He begins by tracing the origin and development of Hegel’s Christological ideas through the fragments and essays of the pre-Jena period, and against the background of Hegel’s inceptive struggle for a genuine absolute synthesis. Although detailed, this work serves chiefly as a preparation to the core of the exposition, viz., to an understanding of the “true” Hegel in the works of his maturity. Upon the Christological passages in the mature writings, Brito ventures a close textual reading in order to elucidate Hegel’s views specifically on their own terms. At the same time, he seeks to integrate these passages into the structure of the individual works in which they appear, and into the structure of the System as a whole. Both of these tasks are requisite for the “exact” interpretation he presumes to offer, and they complement one another. (shrink)
This book is a revised version of the author’s doctoral dissertation, and for better or worse bears the stamp of its provenance. Ahern explores the “dynamics” of the “physiology” imbedded in Nietzsche’s thinking as the interpretive key to the whole of Nietzsche’s philosophy—to its dominant themes, its underlying philosophical motive, and even its view of interpretation. The main focus is “Nietzsche’s conception of sickness and health” as “the standard permeating [his] philosophy”. Ahern attempts to show how this conception constitutes a (...) physiologically based “clinical standpoint” from which Nietzsche operates as a “physician of culture”. His contention is that to become a cultural physician capable of diagnosing and prescribing the cure for the modern sickness of nihilism is Nietzsche’s principal philosophical task. (shrink)
To push the edges of the known, to look at the accepted in novel ways, is indeed to stand at the frontiers of a field. In Frontiers in American Philosophy thirty-five contemporary scholars explore classical American thought in bold new ways. An extraordinary range of issues and thinkers is represented in these pages--from such core themes as metaphysics and social philosophy, which receive primary attention, to some consideration of American philosophers' technical accomplishments in mathematical logic and philosophical analysis. The authors (...) also offer new perspectives on the work of the leading American philosophers, including George Herbert Mead, William James, John Dewey, Charles Sanders Peirce, and Emma Goldman. Not surprisingly perhaps, a great deal of the discussion revolves, either directly or indirectly, around that great axis of intellectual issues commonly known as the "realism/idealism" controversy. It seems fitting that so much attention is devoted to the possibility of some sort of middle position between "external realism" and its antipode in some form of relativistic subjectivism. For, in the last analysis, such a middle position is for the American philosophers the core meaning of "pragmatism.”. (shrink)
The principal issue around which this anthology is organized is that of the continued relevance of Nietzsche to the so-called post postmodern world, against the backdrop of recent interpretations which claim that Nietzsche’s time has past. For the anthology’s contributors—and thus presumably for its intended readers too—“Nietzsche’s legitimacy as a major intellectual force is no longer questioned”. This judgment is not made in the abstract, however, as if philosophy were an other-worldly enterprise enunciating timeless truths, but in terms of Nietzsche’s (...) relevance in and for our present situation. Yet to judge his legitimacy in this way is already to adopt something of a Nietzschean standpoint. Whereas traditionally the philosophers’ task was to escape in thought from the present situation represented disparagingly as an “apparent” world of conflicting opinions to arrive at the one “true” world, Nietzsche rejects this dichotomy altogether. He does so, however, not on the basis of an abstract argument about the truth itself, but in terms of a reading of the whole tradition according to which in life—as all that really matters—this dichotomy has effectively become “fable.” In the event, intellectual legitimacy turns on the interpretation of what is actually going on in life, interpretations being confirmed or challenged only through other interpretations. Famously, Nietzsche himself proclaims that our present situation is defined by the “death of God” and the advent of nihilism, “this uncanniest of all guests.” Nihilism is “uncanny” on Nietzsche’s diagnosis in that through it “the highest values devalue themselves.” Yet it is also a “guest,” something we have invited into our lives through the valuations we have affirmed in life. Why Nietzsche still?—because since the time Nietzsche announced its arrival, this uncanny guest has moved right in and made itself at home, becoming our effective reality while thwarting all attempts thus far to get it to leave. (shrink)
In his “Translator’s Introduction” to The Gay Science, Walter Kaufmann writes: “This book … mirrors all of Nietzsche’s thought and could be related in a hundred ways to his other books, his notes and his letters. And yet it is complete in itself. For it is a work of art.” Judging by their actual treatment of The Gay Science, few commentators have taken this claim to artistic completeness seriously. Instead, the usual practice has been to abstract passages from the book, (...) treating them either as initial statements of key Nietzschean doctrines or as casting light on general issues raised throughout Nietzsche’s works. Until now, no commentator of note has attempted an interpretation of The Gay Science as a unified whole. It is to this end that Higgins has written Comic Relief. (shrink)
From three simple Peircean semeiotic principles, the general formula is derived for the number of definable sign-types from the number of semeiotic trichotomies to be used in defining the sign-types. If k is the number of such trichotomies, then [ ]/2 is the number of sign-types definable by appealing to them. The significance of the derivation lies in its setting constraints on particular detailed theories of sign-types.