Sainsbury and Tye (2011) propose that, in the case of names and other simple extensional terms, we should substitute for Frege's second level of content—for his senses—a second level of meaning vehicle—words in the language of thought. I agree. They also offer a theory of atomic concept reference—their ‘originalist’ theory—which implies that people knowing the same word have the ‘same concept’. This I reject, arguing for a symmetrical rather than an originalist theory of concept reference, claiming that individual concepts are (...) possessed only by individual people. Concepts are classified rather than identified across different people. (shrink)
In this interview, Ruth Groff discusses how she came to be a realist, her role as a community organizer, her relationship to critical realism, and various issues arising from her published work over the years. Discussion ranges across the nature of positivism and its legacy, the concept of falsehood, realism about causal powers, mind-independent reality, the history of philosophy, and the underlying interest in ideology-critique that runs through her thinking.
Ruth Boeker offers a new perspective on Locke’s account of persons and personal identity by considering it within the context of his broader philosophical project and the philosophical debates of his day. Her interpretation emphasizes the importance of the moral and religious dimensions of his view. By taking seriously Locke’s general approach to questions of identity, Boeker shows that we should consider his account of personhood separately from his account of personal identity over time. On this basis, she argues (...) that Locke endorses a moral account of personhood, according to which persons are subjects of accountability, and that his particular thinking about moral accountability explains why he regards sameness of consciousness as necessary for personal identity over time. In contrast to some Neo-Lockean views about personal identity, Boeker argues that Locke’s account of personal identity is not psychological per se, but rather his underlying moral, religious, metaphysical, and epistemic background beliefs are relevant for understanding why he argues for a consciousness-based account of personal identity. Taking his underlying background beliefs into consideration not only sheds light on why many of his early critics do not adopt Locke’s view, but also shows why his view cannot be as easily dismissed as some of his critics assume. -/- . (shrink)
This paper is the introduction to the volume. It gives an argumentative view of the philosophical landscape concerning incommensurability and incomparability. It argues that incomparability, not incommensurability, is the important phenomenon on which philosophers should be focusing and that the arguments for the existence of incomparability are so far not compelling.
Applied ethics, a subdiscipline of philosophy, lends itself to an encyclopedia format because of the many industries and intellectual fields that it encompasses. The Encyclopedia of Applied Ethics is based on twelve major categories, such as Biomedical Ethics and Environmental Ethics. Religious traditions that embody normative beliefs, as well as classical theories of ethics, are explored in a non-judgmental manner. Each of the twelve categories is divided into discrete areas that are covered by 5,000-6,000 word articles. Each of the 281 (...) articles begins with a definition of the subject and includes a table of contents, glossary of key terms, and bibliography. Second- and third- level headings, boxes, sidebars, and the like emphasize the reference-oriented nature of the material. The four volumes are arranged in an A-Z format, with a complete subject index at the end of the last volume. Articles are written by international experts, arranged alphabetically by title, not by subject, and cross-referenced so the reader can locate relevant information in other articles. One of Library Journal's Best Reference Sources for 1997! One of the CHOICE Outstanding Academic Books for 1998! Cross-references appear in each article to refer readers to related information A glossary and bibliography in each article provide readers with tools for learning and creative thinking. (shrink)
Ruth Garrett Millikan presents a strikingly original account of how we get to grips with the world in thought. Her question is Kant's 'How is knowledge possible?', answered from a contemporary naturalist standpoint. We begin with an understanding of what the world is like prior to cognition, then develop a theory of cognition within that world.
" Biosemantics " was the title of a paper on mental representation originally printed in The Journal of Philosophy in 1989. It contained a much abbreviated version of the work on mental representation in Language Thought and Other Biological Categories. There I had presented a naturalist theory of intentional signs generally, including linguistic representations, graphs, charts and diagrams, road sign symbols, animal communications, the "chemical signals" that regulate the function of glands, and so forth. But the term " biosemantics " (...) has usually been applied only to the theory of mental representation. Let me first characterize a more general class of theories called "teleological theories of mental content" of which biosemantics is an example. Then I will discuss the details that distinguish biosemantics from other naturalistic teleological theories. (shrink)
El libro que reseñaremos a continuación fue publicado en el año 2003 como primer número de la colección Thesys de la Editorial de la Universidad Católica de Córdoba, Argentina. Una pequeña nota en la contrasolapa nos informa que estamos, con esta colección, delante de “...una selección de obras de múltiples disciplinas, elaboradas a partir de los trabajos de Tesis de posgrado, presentadas y defendidas públicamente por docentes e investigadores de la U.C. de Córdoba., en distintas institucione..
By whatever general principles and mechanisms animal behavior is governed, human behavior control rides piggyback on top of the same or very similar mechanisms. We have reflexes. We can be conditioned. The movements that make up our smaller actions are mostly caught up in perception-action cycles following perceived Gibsonian affordances. Still, without doubt there are levels of behavior control that are peculiar to humans. Following Aristotle, tradition has it that what is added in humans is rationality ("rational soul"). Rationality, however, (...) can be and has been characterized in many different ways. I am going to speculate about two different kinds of cognitive capacities that we humans seem to have, each of which is at least akin to rationality as Aristotle described it. The first I believe we share with many other animals, the second perhaps with none. Since this session of the conference on rational animals has been designated a "brainstorming" session, I will take philosopher's license, presenting no more than the softest sort of intuitive evidence for these ideas. (shrink)
Charles Taylor is one of the most influential and prolific philosophers in the English-speaking world today. The breadth of his writings is unique, ranging from reflections on artificial intelligence to analyses of contemporary multicultural societies. This thought-provoking introduction to Taylor's work outlines his ideas in a coherent and accessible way without reducing their richness and depth. His contribution to many of the enduring debates within Western philosophy is examined and the arguments of his critics assessed. Taylor's reflections on the topics (...) of moral theory, selfhood, political theory and epistemology form the core chapters within the book. Ruth Abbey engages with the secondary literature on Taylor's work and suggests that some criticisms by contemporaries have been based on misinterpretations and suggests ways in which a better understanding of Taylor's work leads to different criticisms of it. The book serves as an ideal companion to Taylor's ideas for students of philosophy and political theory, and will be welcomed by the non-specialist looking for an authoritative guide to Taylor's large and challenging body of work. (shrink)
Written by one of today's most creative and innovative philosophers, Ruth Garrett Millikan, this book examines basic empirical concepts; how they are acquired, how they function, and how they have been misrepresented in the traditional philosophical literature. Millikan places cognitive psychology in an evolutionary context where human cognition is assumed to be an outgrowth of primitive forms of mentality, and assumed to have 'functions' in the biological sense. Of particular interest are her discussions of the nature of abilities as (...) different from dispositions, her detailed analysis of the psychological act of reidentifying substances, and her critique of the language of thought for mental representation. In a radical departure from current philosophical and psychological theories of concepts, this book provides the first in-depth discussion on the psychological act of reidentification. (shrink)
This encyclopedia entry provides an overview of the field of public health ethics. It focuses on what distinguishes public health ethics from other nearby subfields—especially biomedical ethics. It also frames the problems of public health ethics in terms of the concepts of justice and political legitimacy.
Ruth Abbey presents a close study of Nietzsche's works, Human, All Too Human, Daybreak, and The Gay Science. Although these middle period works tend to be neglected in commentaries on Nietzsche, they repay careful attention. Abbey's commentary brings to light important differences across Nietzsche's oeuvre that have gone unnoticed, filling a serious gap in the literature.
Ruth Millikan is well known for having developed a strikingly original way for philosophers to seek understanding of mind and language, which she sees as biological phenomena. She now draws together a series of groundbreaking essays which set out her approach to language. Guiding the work of most linguists and philosophers of language today is the assumption that language is governed by prescriptive normative rules. Millikan offers a fundamentally different way of viewing the partial regularities that language displays, comparing (...) them to biological norms that emerge from natural selection. This yields novel and quite radical consequences for our understanding of the nature of public linguistic meaning, the process of language understanding, how children learn language, and the semantics/pragmatics distinction. (shrink)
This collection of essays serves both as an introduction to Ruth Millikan’s much-discussed volume Language, Thought, and Other Biological Categories and as an extension and application of Millikan’s central themes, especially in the philosophy of psychology. The title essay discusses meaning rationalism and argues that rationality is not in the head, indeed, that there is no legitimate interpretation under which logical possibility and necessity are known a priori. In other essays, Millikan clarifies her views on the nature of mental (...) representation, explores whether human thought is a product of natural selection, examines the nature of behavior as studied by the behavioral sciences, and discusses the issues of individualism in psychology, psychological explanation, indexicality in thought, what knowledge is, and the realism/antirealism debate. Table of Contents Preface Acknowledgments Introduction 1 In Defense of Proper Functions 2 Propensities, Exaptations, and the Brain 3 Thoughts without Laws 4 Biosemantics 5 On Mentalese Orthography, Part 1 6 Compare and Contrast Dretske, Fodor, and Millikan on Teleosemantics 7 What Is Behavior? A Philosophical Essay on Ethology and Individualism in Psychology, Part 1 8 The Green Grass Growing All Around: A Philosophical Essay on Ethology and Individualism in Psychology, Part 2 9 Explanation in Biopsychology 10 Metaphysical Antirealism? 11 Truth Rules, Hoverflies, and the Kripke-Wittgenstein Paradox 12 Naturalist Reflections on Knowledge 13 The Myth of the Essential Indexical 14 White Queen Psychology; or, The Last Myth of the Given References Index. (shrink)
Questioning the usual judgements of political ethics, Ruth W. Grant argues that hypocrisy can actually be constructive while strictly principled behavior can be destructive. _Hypocrisy and Integrity_ offers a new conceptual framework that clarifies the differences between idealism and fanaticism while it uncovers the moral limits of compromise. "Exciting and provocative.... Grant's work is to be highly recommended, offering a fresh reading of Rousseau and Machiavelli as well as presenting a penetrating analysis of hypocrisy and integrity."—Ronald J. Terchek, _American (...) Political Science Review_ "A great refreshment.... With liberalism's best interests at heart, Grant seeks to make available a better understanding of the limits of reason in politics."—Peter Berkowitz, _New Republic_. (shrink)
In _Feminist Interpretations of John Rawls_, Ruth Abbey collects eight essays responding to the work of John Rawls from a feminist perspective. An impressive introduction by the editor provides a chronological overview of English-language feminist engagements with Rawls from his Theory of Justice onwards. She surveys the range of issues canvassed by feminist readers of Rawls, as well as critics’ wide disagreement about the value of Rawls’s corpus for feminist purposes. The eight essays that follow testify to the continuing (...) ambivalence among feminist readers of Rawls. From the perspectives of political theory and moral, social, and political philosophy, the essayists address particular aspects of Rawls’s work and apply it to a variety of worldly practices relating to gender inequality and the family, to the construction of disability, to justice in everyday relationships, and to human rights on an international level. The overall effect is to give a sense of the broad spectrum of possible feminist critical responses to Rawls, ranging from rejection to adoption. Aside from the editor, the contributors are Amy R. Baehr, Eileen Hunt Botting, Elizabeth Brake, Clare Chambers, Nancy J. Hirschmann, Anthony Simon Laden, Janice Richardson, and Lisa H. Schwartzman. (shrink)
John Locke accepts that every perception gives me immediate and intuitive knowledge of my own existence. However, this knowledge is limited to the present moment when I have the perception. If I want to understand the necessary and sufficient conditions of my continued existence over time, Locke argues that it is important to clarify what ‘I’ refers to. While we often do not distinguish the concept of a person from that of a human being in ordinary language, Locke emphasizes that (...) this distinction is important if we want to engage with questions of identity over time. According to Locke, persons are thinking intelligent beings who can consider themselves as extended into the past and future and who are concerned for their happiness and accountable for their actions. Moreover, for Locke a self is a person, considered from a first-personal point of view. I show that the concept of self that he develops in the context of his discussion of persons and personal identity is richer and more complex than the I-concept that he invokes in his version of the cogito. I further argue that Locke’s moral and religious views explain why he emphasizes the need for a conceptual distinction between persons and human beings. In the final section I turn to the reception of Locke’s view by some of his early critics and defenders, including Elizabeth Berkeley Burnet, an anonymous author, and Catharine Trotter Cockburn. (shrink)
Lacan with the Philosophers creates a dialogue between the oeuvre of psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan and philosophy. Major philosophical figures to which Lacan vastly referred are examined around key concepts fundamental to philosophy - being, truth, knowledge, the good, the subject.
Focusing on the genesis of the work, its documetnation and the politics of canon construction, Ruth Noack discusses Triangle in relation to conceptualism, perfromance and the position of women in Tito's Yugoslavia.
This book provides a clear, simple account of techniques involved in assisted reproduction and embryo research. It thoughtfully and provocatively explores controversies raised by developments in reproductive technology since the first IVF baby in 1978, such as 'saviour siblings', designer babies, reproductive cloning and embryo research.
William Molyneux (1656–1698) was an Irish experimental philosopher and politician, who played a major role in the intellectual life in seventeenth-century Dublin. He became Locke’s friend and correspondent in 1692 and was probably Locke’s philosophically most significant correspondent. Locke approached Molyneux for advice for revising his Essay concerning Human Understanding as he was preparing the second and subsequent editions. Locke made several changes in response to Molyneux’s suggestions; they include major revisions of the chapter ‘Of Power’ (2.21), the addition of (...) the chapter ‘Of Identity and Diversity’ (2.27), and the addition of the so-called Molyneux Problem (2.9.8). Molyneux repeatedly requested that Locke develops his views on morality. Additionally, their correspondence turned to questions concerning education and Molyneux’s keen interest in the topic likely prompted Locke to publish Some Thoughts Concerning Education in 1693. Moreover, Molyneux drew on Locke’s anonymously published Two Treatises of Government in his The Case of Ireland’s Being Bound by Acts of Parliament in England, Stated, which was first published in the spring of 1698. Molyneux revealed Locke’s authorship of Two Treatises against Locke’s will, yet their friendship continued until Molyneux’s untimely death in October 1698. (shrink)
Imaginary is, in Taylor's thought, a category of understanding social praxis and the reasons people give to make sense of these practices. The ultimate reason is the hypergood, which influences the strong decisions. Those strong evaluations outline the moral framework from which people address their own lives and the lives of others. We only recognize our cultural framework as an `imaginary' — challenging the supposition it is something `objective' — when others make their apparition in our lives. After the encounter (...) nobody remains the same; something in our imaginary has changed. The outcome of this process is the `best account' we have to make sense of our life. If we accept the category of `imaginary' and the process of `best account' as accurate enough to address Latin American reality, the problem we have to solve is how we can find out a Latin American social imaginary. (shrink)
: This article considers what contribution the work of John Rawls can make to questions about animal ethics. It argues that there are more normative resources in A Theory of Justice for a concern with animal welfare than some of Rawls's critics acknowledge. However, the move from A Theory of Justice to Political Liberalism sees a depletion of normative resources in Rawlsian thought for addressing animal ethics. The article concludes by endorsing the implication of A Theory of Justice that we (...) look for ways other than rights discourse to respect and protect the well-being of animals. (shrink)
Do we really know the things we think we know? Are any of our beliefs reasonable? Scepticism gives a pessimistic reply to these important epistemological questions - we don't know anything; none of our beliefs are reasonable. But can such a seemingly paradoxical claim be more than an intellectual curiousity? And if it is, can it be refuted? Ruth Weintraub answers yes to both these questions. The sceptical challenge is a formidable one, and should be confronted, not dismissed. The (...) theoretical and practical difficulties it presents - in that the sceptical life cannot be lived, and the doctrine seems self-defeating - are in fact superficial, according to Ruth Weintraub. Her study looks at the sceptical arguments of Descartes, Hume and the ancient Greek sceptic, Sextus Empiricus. The author argues that by drawing on philosophy, rather than science, the sceptical challenge can be answered. _The Sceptical Challenge_ is a bold and original response to scepticism; it represents a new way of looking at the field for philosophers of epistemology. (shrink)
Learning Beyond the Objective in Primary Education explores an existential perspective for pedagogy in response to the current technocratic paradigm of education prevalent in many countries worldwide. This new perspective is termed 'Bildung's repetition.' The book seeks to encourage policy makers and educational practitioners to consider the impact of education on children, over and above the meeting of set targets and objectives.
In this chapter I will present, in a general way, Millikan's biosemantic theory of the phenomenon of intentionality. For this purpose, the text will take the following path. First, I will present the problem of intentionality and an overview of the dominant theories of intentional content during the twentieth century and part of the twenty-first century. Then, I will present a general version of Millikan's biosemantic theory, appearing in 1984, which will allow us to see what the relevance and originality (...) of his proposal consists in. Finally, in keeping with one of the central purposes of Las filósofas que nos formaron, I will share a brief interview that Millikan very kindly agreed to give for this publication, in which she tells us some non-theoretical aspects of her history as a philosopher. (shrink)