Contemporary liberal thinkers commonly suppose that there is something in principle unjust about the legal prohibition of putatively victimless crimes. Here Robert P. George defends the traditional justification of morals legislation against criticisms advanced by leading liberal theorists. He argues that such legislation can play a legitimate role in maintaining a moral environment conducive to virtue and inhospitable to at least some forms of vice. Among the liberal critics of morals legislation whose views George considers are Ronald Dworkin, Jeremy (...) Waldron, David A.J. Richards, and Joseph Raz. He also considers the influential modern justification for morals legislation offered by Patrick Devlin as an alternative to the traditional approach. George closes with a sketch of a "pluralistic perfectionist" theory of civil liberties and public morality, showing that it is fully compatible with a defense of morals legislation. Making Men Moral will interest legal scholars and political theorists as well as theologians and philosophers focusing on questions of social justice and political morality. (shrink)
"Crease’s brilliantly exploited theatrical analogy places scientific theorizing back into the wider context of experimental inquiry." —Robert C. Scharff Crease attacks the "mystical" account of experimentation embraced by the positivist and Kantian varieties of philosophy of science, according to which experimentation takes a backseat to theory.
This book argues that the primary function of human thinking in language is to make judgments, which are logical-normative connections of concepts. Robert Abele points out that this presupposes cognitive conditions that cannot be accounted for by empirical-linguistic analyses of language content or social conditions alone. Judgments rather assume both reason and a unified subject, and this requires recognition of a Kantian-type of transcendental dimension to them. Judgments are related to perception in that both are syntheses, defined as the (...) unity of representations according to a rule/form. Perceptual syntheses are simultaneously pre-linguistic and proto-rational, and the understanding makes these syntheses conceptually and thus self-consciously explicit. Abele concludes with a transcendental critique of postmodernism and what its deflationary view of ontological categories—such as the unified and reasoning subject—has done to political thinking. He presents an alternative that calls for a return to normativity and a recognition of reason, objectivity, and the universality of principles. (shrink)
There is no question, of course, that music is a temporal art. Stravinsky, noting that it is inconceivable apart from the elements of sound and time, classifies it quite simply as "a certain organization in time, a chrononomy."1 His definition stands as part of a long and honored tradition that encompasses such diverse figures as Racine, Lessing, and Schopenhauer. Schopenhauer, putting the case in its strongest terms, remarks that music is "perceived solely in and through time, to the complete exclusion (...) of space," thus making explicit the opposition between time and space and ruling out the latter as a possible area for legitimate musical experience. Yet anyone familiar with the philosophical and theoretical literature dealing with music must be struck by the persistence with which spatial terminology and categories appear. Indeed, it would seem to be impossible to talk about music at all without invoking spatial notions of one kind or another. Thus in discussing even the most elementary aspects of pitch organization—and among the musical elements, only pitch, we should remember, is uniquely musical—one finds it necessary to rely upon such spatially oriented oppositions as "up and down," "high and low," "small and large" , and so on. Space, then, pace Schopenhauer, apparently forms an inseparable part of the musical experience. · 1. Igor Stravinsky, Poetics of Music in the Form of Six Lessons, trans, Arthur Knodel and Ingolf Dahl , p. 28. Robert P. Morgan is active as both a music composer and theorist. A professor of music at the University of Chicago, he is currently composing a concerto for flute, oboe, and string orchestra to be performed at Swarthmore College. His previous contribution to Critical Inquiry, "On the Analysis of Recent Music," appeared in the Autumn 1977 issue. Anthony Gilbert responds to the current essay in "Musical Space: A Composer's View". (shrink)
This book argues that the last eight years in particular have shown us that our democracy has largely evaporated, leaving behind only an exoskeleton that was once its original vertebrae of ends and principles. It is critical to our form of democracy in the U.S. that citizens become active participants.
Natural law theory is enjoying a revival of interest in a variety of scholarly disciplines including law, philosophy, political science, and theology and religious studies. This volume presents twelve original essays by leading natural law theorists and their critics. The contributors discuss natural law theories of morality, law and legal reasoning, politics, and the rule of law. Readers get a clear sense of the wide diversity of viewpoints represented among contemporary theorists, and an opportunity to evaluate the arguments and counterarguments (...) exchanged in the current debates between natural law theorists and their critics. Contributors include Hadley Arkes, Joseph M. Boyle, Jr., John Finnis, Robert P. George, Russell Hittinger, Neil MacCormick, Michael Moore, Jeffrey Stout, Joseph Raz, Jeremy Waldron, Lloyd Weinreb, and Ernest Weinrib. (shrink)
J. L. Schellenberg claims that the weakness of evidence for God’s existence is not merely a sign that God is hidden, “it is a revelation that God does not exist.” In Divine Hiddenness: New Essays, Michael J. Murray provides a “soul-making” defense of God’s hiddenness, arguing that if God were not hidden, then some of us would lose what many theists deem a (very) good thing: the ability to develop morally significant characters. In this paper, I argue that Murray’s soul-making (...) defense not only fails to defend God’s hiddenness, it produces (ironically) an argument for the nonexistence of God. (shrink)
J. L. Schellenberg claims that the weakness of evidence for God’s existence is not merely a sign that God is hidden, “it is a revelation that God does not exist.” In Divine Hiddenness : New Essays, Michael J. Murray provides a “soul-making” defense of God’s hiddenness, arguing that if God were not hidden, then some of us would lose what many theists deem a good thing: the ability to develop morally significant characters. In this paper, I argue that Murray’s soul-making (...) defense not only fails to defend God’s hiddenness, it produces an argument for the nonexistence of God. (shrink)
Much controversy surrounds Schenker's mature theory and its attempt to explain musical pitch motion. Becoming Heinrich Schenker brings a new perspective to Schenker's theoretical work, showing that ideas characteristic of his mature theory, although in many respects fundamentally different, developed logically out of his earlier ideas. Robert P. Morgan provides an introduction to Schenker's mature theory and traces its development through all of his major publications, considering each in detail and with numerous music examples. Morgan also explores the relationship (...) between Schenker's theory and his troubled ideology, which crucially influenced the evolution of his ideas and was heavily dependent upon both the empirical and idealist strains of contemporary German philosophical thought. Relying where possible on quotations from Schenker's own words, this book offers a balanced approach to his theory and a unique overview of this central music figure, generally considered to be the most prominent music theorist of the twentieth century. (shrink)
The rational choice assumption that any chosen behavior can be understood as optimizing material self?interest is not borne out by psychological research. Expressive motives, for example, are prominent in the symbols of politics, in social relationships, and in the arts of persuasion. Moreover, instrumentality is a mindset that is learned (perhaps overlearned), and can be situationally manipulated; because it is valued in our society, it provides a privileged vocabulary for justifying behaviors that may have been performed for other reasons, and (...) encourages the illusory belief in the universality of rational choice. (shrink)
"Public reason" is one of the central concepts in modern liberal political theory. As articulated by John Rawls, it presents a way to overcome the difficulties created by intractable differences among citizens' religious and moral beliefs by strictly confining the place of such convictions in the public sphere. Identifying this conception as a key point of conflict, this book presents a debate among contemporary natural law and liberal political theorists on the definition and validity of the idea of public reason. (...) Its distinguished contributors examine the consequences of interpreting public reason more broadly as "right reason," according to natural law theory, versus understanding it in the narrower sense in which Rawls intended. They test public reason by examining its implications for current issues, confronting the questions of abortion and slavery and matters relating to citizenship. This energetic exchange advances our understanding of both Rawls's contribution to political philosophy and the lasting relevance of natural law. It provides new insights into crucial issues facing society today as it points to new ways of thinking about political theory and practice. (shrink)
: The purpose of this paper and its sister paper (Farrell and Hooker, b) is to present, evaluate and elaborate a proposed new model for the process of scientific development: self-directed anticipative learning (SDAL). The vehicle for its evaluation is a new analysis of a well-known historical episode: the development of ape-language research. In this first paper we outline five prominent features of SDAL that will need to be realized in applying SDAL to science: 1) interactive exploration of possibility space; (...) 2) self-directedness; 3) localization of success and error; 4) Synergistic increase in learning capacity; and 5) continuity of SDAL process across scientific change. In this paper we examine the first three features of SDAL in relation to the early history of ape-language research. We show that this history is readily explicated as a self-directed, ever-finer, delineation of possibility space that enables the localization of both success and error. Paper II examines the last two features against this history. (shrink)
Our understanding of the sense of taste is largely based on research designed and interpreted in terms of the traditional four tastes: sweet, sour, salty, and bitter, and now a few more. This concept of basic tastes has no rational definition to test, and thus it has not been tested. As a demonstration, a preliminary attempt to test one common but arbitrary psychophysical definition of basic tastes is included in this article; that the basic tastes are unique in being able (...) to account for other tastes. This definition was falsified in that other stimuli do about as well as the basic words and stimuli. To the extent that this finding might show analogies with other studies of receptor, neural, and psychophysical phenomena, the validity of the century-long literature of the science of taste based on a few is called into question. The possible origins, meaning, and influence of this concept are discussed. Tests of the model with control studies are suggested in all areas of taste related to basic tastes. As a stronger alternative to the basic tradition, the advantages of the across-fiber pattern model are discussed; it is based on a rational data-based hypothesis, and has survived attempts at falsification. Such has found broad acceptance in many neural systems. (shrink)
The traditional approach to the abortion debate revolves around numerous issues, such as whether the fetus is a person, whether the fetus has rights, and more. Don Marquis suggests that this traditional approach leads to a standoff and that the abortion debate “requires a different strategy.” Hence his “future of value” strategy, which is summarized as follows: (1) A normal fetus has a future of value. (2) Depriving a normal fetus of a future of value imposes a misfortune on it. (...) (3) Imposing a misfortune on a normal fetus is prima facie wrong. (4) Therefore, depriving a normal fetus of a future of value is prima facie wrong. (5) Killing a normal fetus deprives it of a future of value. (6) Therefore, killing a normal fetus is prima facie wrong. In this paper, I argue that Marquis’s strategy is not different since it involves the concept of person—a concept deeply rooted in the traditional approach. Specifically, I argue that futures are valuable insofar as they are not only dominated by goods of consciousness, but are experienced by psychologically continuous persons. Moreover, I argue that his strategy is not sound since premise (1) is false. Specifically, I argue that a normal fetus, at least during the first trimester, is not a person. Thus, during that stage of development it is not capable of experiencing its future as a psychologically continuous person and, hence, it does not have a future of value. (shrink)
I am, of course, aware that infanticide was accepted and practiced in ancient Greece and Rome, and is still practiced in places like India and China today; just as I am aware that slavery was accepted and practiced in ancient Greece and Rome , and is still practiced in some places today. But if philosophers, no matter how sophisticated, were to step forward today to argue that slavery is morally acceptable , I would call that madness.Of course, the ‘madness’ I (...) am referring to in condemning the advocacy of infanticide and slavery or their moral permissibility is moral madness. I am not making a clinical diagnosis of a psychiatric condition. I take it that this was obvious, but that Charles Camosy is nevertheless troubled that I would say such a thing. But I do say it. And at the risk of giving offense, I will say it again: advocating the moral permissibility of killing healthy newborn infants is moral madness; and it is scandalous, especially in a journal expressly directed not merely to philosophers but to physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals—people whose attitudes shape decisions they make about the lives of real people, including real infants.Whatever errors of fact and judgment are made possible by the complexities of human development or a prenatal …. (shrink)
Joseph Newhard (2017) argues that a libertarian anarchist society would be at a serious military disadvantage if it extended the nonaggression principle to include potential foreign invaders. He goes so far as to recommend cultivating the ability to launch a nuclear attack on foreign cities. In contrast, I argue that the free society would derive its strength from a total commitment to property rights and the protection of innocent life. Both theory and history suggest that a free society would be (...) capable of defending itself, and indeed that it would probably use other means to avoid military conflict altogether. (shrink)
This monograph is designed to provide an introduction to the principal areas of tense logic. Many of the developments in this ever-growing field have been intentionally excluded to fulfill this aim. Length also dictated a choice between the alternative notations of A. N. Prior and Nicholas Rescher - two pioneers of the subject. I choose Prior's because of the syntactical parallels with the language it symbolizes and its close ties with other branches of logi cal theory, especially modal logic. The (...) first chapter presents a wider view of the material than later chapters. Several lines of development are consequently not followed through the remainder of the book, most notably metric systems. Although it is import ant to recognize that the unadorned Prior-symbolism can be enriched in vari ous ways it is an advanced subject as to how to actually carry off these enrichments. Readers desiring more information are referred to the appropri ate literature. Specialists will notice that only the first of several quantifi cational versions of tense logic is proven complete in the final chapter. Again constraints of space are partly to blame. The proof for the 'star' systems is wildly complex and at the time of this writing is not yet ready for publi cation. (shrink)
It is frequently noted that a “crisis in language” accompanied the profound changes in human consciousness everywhere evident near the turn of the century. As the nature of reality itself became problematic—or at least suspect, distrusted for its imposition of limits upon individual imagination—so, necessarily, did the relationship of language to reality. Thus in the later nineteenth century, the adequacy of an essentially standardized form of “classical” writing was increasingly questioned as an effective vehicle for artistic expression: even though often (...) in “elevated” form, such writing bore too close a connection to ordinary discourse. Indeed, it was precisely the mutually shared, conventional aspects of language that came to be most deeply distrusted for their failure to mirror the more subjective, obscure, and improbable manifestations of a transcendent reality or, rather, realities—the plural reflecting an insistence upon the optional and provisional nature of human experience. Language in its normal manifestations—with its conventionalized vocabulary and standardized rules for syntactical combination—proved inadequate for an artistic sensibility demanding, in Friedrich Nietzsche’s words, “a world of abnormally drawn perspectives.”This dissatisfaction with “normal” language received its classic statement through Hugo von Hofmannsthal’s Lord Chandos. Writing in 1902, Hofmannsthal conveys through the figure of the aristocratic Chandos the loss of an encompassing framework within which the various objects of external reality are connected with one another and integrated with the internal reality of human feelings. Chandos’ world has become one of disparate, disconnected fragments, resistant to the abstractions of ordinary language. It is a world characterized by “a sort of feverish thought, but thought in a material that is more immediate, more fluid, and more intense than that of language.” Chandos longs for a new language in which not a single word is known to me, a language in which mute objects speak to me and in which perhaps one day, in the grave, I will give account of myself before an unknown judge.”2 The content and forms of art thus shifted away from exterior reality, which no longer provided a stable, “given” material, toward language itself—to “pure” language in a sense closely related to the symbolists’ “pure” poetry. “No artist tolerates reality,” Nietzsche proclaimed.3 And Gustave Flaubert’s farsighted advice to himself was that he should write “a book about nothing, a book dependent on nothing external, which would be held together by the internal strength of its style.”4 2. Hugo von Hofmannsthal, “Ein Brief,” Gesammelte Werke, ed. Bernd Schoeller with Rudolf Hirsch, 10 vols. , 7:471-72; my translation. All further translations are my own unless otherwise indicated.3. Friedrich Nitzsche, Complete Works, ed. Oscar Levy, 18 vols. , vol. 15, The Will to Power, trans. Anthony M. Ludovici, p. 74.4. Gustave Flaubert, Flaubert to Louise Colet, 16 Jan. 1852, The Letters of Gustave Flaubert 1830-1857, ed. and trans. Francis Steegmuller , p. 154. Other passages in this letter are equally remarkable for their “modernist” tone. Flaubert argues that from the standpoint of l’Art pur, “one might almost establish the axiom that there is no such thing as subject—style in itself being an absolute manner of seeing things” . Further:The finest works are those that contain the least matter; the closer expression comes to thought, the closer language comes to coinciding and merging with it, the finer the result. I believe the future of Art lies in this direction. I see it, as it has developed from its beginnings, growing progressively more ethereal …. Form, in becoming more skillful, becomes attenuated, it leaves behind all liturgy, rule, measure; the epic is discarded in favor of the novel, verse in favor of prose; there is no longer any orthodoxy, and form is as free as the will of its creator. This progressive shedding of the burden of tradition can be observed everywhere: governments have gone through similar evolution, from oriental despotisms to the socialisms of the future. [P. 154] Robert P. Morgan, professor of music at the University of Chicago, is currently writing a history of twentieth-century music and working on a study of form in nineteenth-century music. His previous contributions to Critical Inquiry are “On the Analysis of Recent Music” and “Musical Time/Musical Space”. (shrink)
According to [Edward T.] Cone, then, there is a great deal of music written today that is simply no longer susceptible to analysis. If this is true, it can mean one of several things. First, it may indicate that, although there are new compositions that one finds interesting and representative of the period in which we live, the music simply does not lend itself to analysis. Thus, even if we enjoy and admire this music, there is not much that we (...) can say about it beyond perhaps a mere description—which I think most of us, along with Cone, would agree does not really constitute an analysis. I have the impression that many proponents of new music hold this view—that is, they feel that new music is understandable only through a sort of mindless apprehension of its sensory surface. But if this is a fair account of the situation surrounding new music, it seems to me to represent a very serious—and also depressing—state of affairs. For what it means, I suspect, is that new music does not lend itself to being thought about in any serious way at all; and if so, then new music is missing a crucial dimension—namely, an accompanying conceptual framework, erected through a body of critical and theoretical discourse, through which its meaning is defined and redefined as our thinking about music evolves. Indeed, this dimension forms—and has always formed—such an integral component of Western art music that its absence would seem to indicate that music, at least as we have known it, is in all likelihood dead. Robert P. Morgan is professor of music theory and composition at Temple University. In addition to being a composer, he is active as a critic; his articles on contemporary music have appeared recently in several music journals and in An Ives Celebration. His contribution to Critical Inquiry, "Musical Time/Musical Space" appeared in the Spring 1980 issue. (shrink)
John Preston has claimed that we must understand Paul Feyerabend's later, post-1970, philosophy in terms of a disappointed Popperianism: that Feyerabend became a sceptical, relativistic, literal anarchist because of his perception of the failure of Popper's philosophy. I argue that this claim cannot be supported and trace the development of Feyerabend's philosophy in terms of a commitment to the central Popperian themes of criticism and critical explanatory progress. This commitment led Feyerabend to reject Popper's specific methodology in favour of a (...) pluralistic methodology, but the commitment to the central values of criticism and critical explanatory progress remained . Moreover, methodological pluralism does not imply scepticism, relativism, or literal anarchism. Feyerabend was not a disappointed Popperian, but, in many respects, a die-hard pluralistic Popperian. (shrink)
"Many in elite circles yield to the temptation to believe that anyone who disagrees with them is a bigot or a religious fundamentalist. Reason and science, they confidently believe, are on their side. With this book, I aim to expose the emptiness of that belief." --From the introductionAssaults on religious liberty and traditional morality are growing fiercer. Here, at last, is the counterattack.Showcasing the talents that have made him one of America's most acclaimed and influential thinkers, Robert P. George (...) explodes the myth that the secular elite represents the voice of reason. In fact, George shows, it is on the elite side of the cultural divide where the prevailing views frequently are nothing but articles of faith. Conscience and Its Enemies reveals the bankruptcy of these too often smugly held orthodoxies while presenting powerfully reasoned arguments for classical virtues.In defending what James Madison called the "sacred rights of conscience"--rights for which government shows frightening contempt--George grapples with today's most controversial issues: abortion and infanticide, same-sex marriage, genetic manipulation, euthanasia and assisted suicide, religion in politics, judicial activism, and more. His brilliantly argued essays rely not on theological claims or religious authority but on established scientific facts and a philosophical tradition that extends back to Plato and Aristotle.Conscience and Its Enemies elevates our national debates. It sets forth powerful arguments that secular liberals are unaccustomed to hearing--and that embattled defenders of traditional morality so often fail to marshal. It also lays out the principles and arguments for rebuilding a moral order. (shrink)
Celebrating science Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-3 DOI 10.1007/s11016-011-9545-1 Authors Robert P. Crease, Department of Philosophy, Stony Brook University, 213 Harriman Hall, Stony Brook, NY 11794-3750, USA Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
This article is a case study that describes the natural and human history of the gaze heuristic. The gaze heuristic is an interception heuristic that utilizes a single input repeatedly as a task is performed. Its architecture, advantages, and limitations are described in detail. A history of the gaze heuristic is then presented. In natural history, the gaze heuristic is the only known technique used by predators to intercept prey. In human history the gaze heuristic was discovered accidentally by Royal (...) Air Force fighter command just prior to World War II. As it was never discovered by the Luftwaffe, the technique conferred a decisive advantage upon the RAF throughout the war. After the end of the war in America, German technology was combined with the British heuristic to create the Sidewinder AIM9 missile, the most successful autonomous weapon ever built. There are no plans to withdraw it or replace its guiding gaze heuristic. The case study demonstrates that the gaze heuristic is a specific heuristic type that takes a single best input at the best time. Its use is an adaptively rational response to specific, rapidly evolving decision environments that has allowed those animals/humans/machines who use it to survive, prosper, and multiply relative to those who do not. (shrink)