Suicide as a form of political protest is a little studied social phenomenon that cannot be dismissed simply as being irrational or patholognomic. We consider protest suicide to be a meaningful social action as purposive political act intended to change oppressive policies or practices. This paper synthesizes theoretical propositions associated with suicide in general, and protest suicide in particular, so as to construct a general explanatory model of protest suicide as a social phenomenon. Then, it analyzes protest suicide as a (...) meaningful social action. People considering protest suicide have to discern the logic of the situation in which such action is to take place. This involves answering two fundamental questions: Is suicide an acceptable course of social action? Is the envisaged protest suicide likely to achieve their hopes, aspirations and goals? How these questions are answered gives rise to a set of protest suicide archetypes. Our analysis generates a more sophisticated understanding of the potential reasons for, and motivations behind, protest suicide as a social phenomenon. (shrink)
In this book, Scott Soames argues that the revolution in the study of language and mind that has taken place since the late nineteenth century must be rethought. The central insight in the reigning tradition is that propositions are representational. To know the meaning of a sentence or the content of a belief requires knowing which things it represents as being which ways, and therefore knowing what the world must be like if it is to conform to how the (...) sentence or belief represents it. These are truth conditions of the sentence or belief. But meanings and representational contents are not truth conditions, and there is more to propositions than representational content. In addition to imposing conditions the world must satisfy if it is to be true, a proposition may also impose conditions on minds that entertain it. The study of mind and language cannot advance further without a conception of propositions that allows them to have contents of both of these sorts. Soames provides it. He does so by arguing that propositions are repeatable, purely representational cognitive acts or operations that represent the world as being a certain way, while requiring minds that perform them to satisfy certain cognitive conditions. Because they have these two types of content—one facing the world and one facing the mind—pairs of propositions can be representationally identical but cognitively distinct. Using this breakthrough, Soames offers new solutions to several of the most perplexing problems in the philosophy of language and mind. (shrink)
What sorts of things are there in the world? Clearly enough, there are concrete, material things; but are there other things too, perhaps nonconcrete or non-material things? Some people believe that there are such things, which are often called abstract ; purported examples of such objects include numbers, properties, possible but non-actual states of affairs, propositions, and sets. Following a long-standing tradition, I shall describe persons who believe that there are abstract objects as ‘platonists’. In this paper, I shall not (...) directly address the plausibility of platonism, as compared with its rivals; instead, I shall confine my attention to one way in which some people have tried to combine platonism and theism. More specifically, I shall concentrate upon the claim that abstract objects depend upon God ontologically ; I shall argue that platonistic theists should reject DEP in favour of the claim that abstract objects exist independently of God . In order to evaluate the relative merits of DEP versus IND, it will be helpful to examine in some detail a particular articulation of DEP. When it comes to recent work on DEP, we can do no better in this regard than to examine the recent work of Thomas V. Morris and Christopher H. Menzel. According Morris and Menzel, there is a sense in which God literally creates such abstracta through engaging in intellective activities. (shrink)
Introduction to the Two Volumes xi PART ONE: G. E. MOORE ON ETHICS, EPISTEMOLOGY, AND PHILOSOPHICAL ANALYSIS 1 CHAPTER 1 Common Sense and Philosophical Analysis 3 CHAPTER 2 Moore on Skepticism, Perception, and Knowledge 12 CHAPTER 3 Moore on Goodness and the Foundations of Ethics 34 CHAPTER 4 The Legacies and Lost Opportunities of Moore’s Ethics 71 Suggested Further Reading 89 PART TWO: BERTRAND RUSSELL ON LOGICAL AND LINGUISTIC ANALYSIS 91 CHAPTER 5 Logical Form, Grammatical Form, and the Theory of (...) Descriptions 93 CHAPTER 6 Logic and Mathematics: The Logicist Reduction 132 CHAPTER 7 Logical Constructions and the External World 165 CHAPTER 8 Russell’s Logical Atomism 182 Suggested Further Reading 194 PART THREE: LUDWIG WITTGENSTEIN’S TRACTATUS 195 CHAPTER 9 The Metaphysics of the Tractatus 197 CHAPTER 10 Meaning, Truth, and Logic in the Tractatus 214 CHAPTER 11 The Tractarian Test of Intelligibility and Its Consequences 234 Suggested Further Reading 254 PART FOUR: LOGICAL POSITIVISM, EMOTIVISM, AND ETHICS 255 CHAPTER 12 The Logical Positivists on Necessity and Apriori Knowledge 257 CHAPTER 13 The Rise and Fall of the Empiricist Criterion of Meaning 271 CHAPTER 14 Emotivism and Its Critics 300 CHAPTER 15 Normative Ethics in the Era of Emotivism: The Anticonsequentialism of Sir David Ross 320 Suggested Further Reading 346 PART FIVE: THE POST-POSITIVIST PERSPECTIVE OF THE EARLY W. V. QUINE 349 CHAPTER 16 The Analytic and the Synthetic, the Necessary and the Possible, the Apriori and the Aposteriori 351 CHAPTER 17 Meaning and Holistic Verificationism 378 Suggested Further Reading 406 Index 409. (shrink)
Rights of Women attracted much UK media attention in late 2014 by bringing a judicial review that challenged the reduced provisions for family law legal aid available for victims of domestic violence: R v The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice  EWHC 35. In June 2015, within Rights of Women’s 40th anniversary year, Hannah Camplin interviewed the organisation’s Director Emma Scott about the decision to bring the judicial review, the advantages and challenges of the judicial review (...) process, and the experience of strategic litigation within the context of Rights of Women’s long history of campaigning for women’s rights. What emerged is a portrait of a feminist organisation in 2015, and, in a fast changing political and financial landscape, the dual importance of collaborative working and the need for flexibility in service provision and campaigning tools. (shrink)
A Scientific Approach The facts detailed in this briefing are the results of scientific exploration of terror networks and sacred values and their association to political violence. The research is sponsored by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the National Science Foundation.
In this fascinating work, Scott Soames offers a new conception of the relationship between linguistic meaning and assertions made by utterances. He gives meanings of proper names and natural kind predicates and explains their use in attitude ascriptions. He also demonstrates the irrelevance of rigid designation in understanding why theoretical identities containing such predicates are necessary, if true.
Dominic Scott compares the Republic and Nicomachean Ethics from a methodological perspective. He argues that Plato and Aristotle distinguish similar levels of argument in the defence of justice, and that they both follow the same approach: Plato because he thinks it will suffice, Aristotle because he thinks there is no need to go beyond it.
Toward the end of Hume's Dialogues concerning Natural Religion, Philo catalogues the ‘frivolous observances’, ‘rapturous ecstasies’ and ‘bigotted credulity’ of ‘vulgar superstition’, concluding that ‘true religion, I allow, has no such pernicious consequences: But we must treat of religion, as it has com monly been found in the world’. This would be a mild enough sort of caveat were it not nigh on impossible to determine exactly what counts as true religion, and how it figures in Hume's argument. Typically, answers (...) to this puzzle have required identifying the positions of the discussants, and then arguing that one of them represents Hume's views. A catalogue of the options may prove instructive. (shrink)
This ambitious, interdisciplinary book seeks to explain the origins of religion using our knowledge of the evolution of cognition. A cognitive anthropologist and psychologist, Scott Atran argues that religion is a by-product of human evolution just as the cognitive intervention, cultural selection, and historical survival of religion is an accommodation of certain existential and moral elements that have evolved in the human condition.
There has been a flood of scholarship over the years on whether there is a “right to privacy” in the Constitution of the United States. Griswold v. Connecticut was, of course, the Supreme Court decision that opened the floodgates to this river of commentary. A subject search for “privacy, right of” in the College of William and Mary's on-line library catalog located 360 book titles. A perusal of the leading law review bibliographic indices turned up still more. Whether the Constitution (...) contains some sort of “right to be let alone” is plainly one of the central questions of contemporary constitutional discourse. (shrink)
In this book, Scott Soames illuminates the notion of truth and the role it plays in our ordinary thought as well as in our logical, philosophical, and scientific theories. Soames aims to integrate and deepen the most significant insights on truth from a variety of sources. He powerfully brings together the best technical work and the most important philosophical reflection on truth and shows how each can illuminate the other. Investigating such questions as whether we need a truth predicate (...) at all, what theoretical tasks it allows us to accomplish, and how we are to understand the content of any predicate capable of accomplishing these tasks, Soames organizes his discussion into three parts. Part I addresses crucial foundational issues as it identifies the bearers of truth, provides a basis for distinguishing truth from other notions, and formulates positive responses to well-known forms of truth-skepticism. Part II explicates the formal theories of Alfred Tarski and Saul Kripke and evaluates the philosophical significance of their work. It discusses their treatments of the Liar paradox, the relationship between truth and proof, the notion of a partially defined predicate, the concepts of logical truth and logical consequence, and the connection between truth and meaning. Part III extends important lessons drawn from Tarski and Kripke into new domains: vague predicates, the Sorites paradox, and the development of a larger, deflationary perspective on truth. Throughout the book, Soames examines a wide range of deflationary theories of truth, and attempts to separate what is correct and worth preserving in them from what is not. In doing so, he seeks to clear up many of the most significant philosophical doubts about truth. Written for a general audience while offering engaging material to the specialist, this rich study will be profitably read by both. (shrink)
Scott Sturgeon presents an original account of mental states and their dynamics. He develops a detailed story of coarse- and fine-grained mental states, a novel perspective on how they fit together, an engaging theory of the rational transitions between them, and a fresh view of how formal methods can advance our understanding in this area. In doing so, he addresses a deep four-way divide in literature on epistemic rationality. Formal epistemology is done in specialized languages--often seeming a lot more (...) like mathematics than Plato--and so can alienate philosophers who are drawn to more traditional work on thought experiments in epistemic rationality. Conversely, informal epistemology appears to be a lot more like Plato than mathematics and, as such, it tends to deter philosophers drawn to formal models of the phenomena. Similarly, the epistemology of coarse-grained states boils down everything to a discussion of rational belief--making the area appear a lot more like foundations of knowledge than anything useful for the theory rational decision, such as decision-making under uncertainty. The Rational Mind unifies work in all of these areas for the first time. (shrink)
In this collection of recent and unpublished essays, leading analytic philosopher Scott Soames traces milestones in his field from its beginnings in Britain and Germany in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, through its subsequent growth in the United States, up to its present as the world's most vigorous philosophical tradition. The central essay chronicles how analytic philosophy developed in the United States out of American pragmatism, the impact of European visitors and immigrants, the midcentury transformation of the (...) Harvard philosophy department, and the rapid spread of the analytic approach that followed. Another essay explains the methodology guiding analytic philosophy, from the logicism of Frege and Russell through Wittgenstein's linguistic turn and Carnap's vision of replacing metaphysics with philosophy of science. Further essays review advances in logic and the philosophy of mathematics that laid the foundation for a rigorous, scientific study of language, meaning, and information. Other essays discuss W.V.O. Quine, David K. Lewis, Saul Kripke, the Frege-Russell analysis of quantification, Russell's attempt to eliminate sets with his "no class theory," and the Quine-Carnap dispute over meaning and ontology. The collection then turns to topics at the frontier of philosophy of language. The final essays, combining philosophy of language and law, advance a sophisticated originalist theory of interpretation and apply it to U.S. constitutional rulings about due process. (shrink)
Chakravartty puts forward a view of scientific knowledge that conceives of properties attributed to objects by scientific models as dispositions. Those dispositions refer to the capacity of an object to behave differently in different circumstances. This pluralism of behaviour is intended to show that perspectivalism does not exclude the possibility of non-perspectival knowledge. To support this claim, he offers an analogy between conflicting models and contrastive explanations. I examine the strength of the purported analogy between conflicting models and contrastive explanations. (...) Then, I analyse this dispositionalist account of properties in order to assess whether ontological pluralism can meet the challenge that conflicting models pose to the scientific realism. To conclude, I contend that to accomplish this goal, a more detailed account of dispositional properties should be provided, as well as a theory of explanatory relevance. (shrink)
Hume seems to claim that there does not exist a valid argument that has all non-ethical sentences as premises and an ethical sentence as its conclusion. Starting with Prior, a number of counterexamples to this claim have been proposed. Unfortunately, all of these proposals are controversial. Even the most plausible have a premise that seems like it might be an ethical sentence or a conclusion that seems like it might be non-ethical. Since it is difficult to tell whether any of (...) these counterexamples are genuine, we need a taxonomy that sorts out ethical sentences from non-ethical ones. We need to know the difference between an ‘Is’ and an ‘Ought’. In the first part of the paper, I establish the need for a taxonomy. I consider some of the most influential ‘Is’–‘Ought’ derivations. These include proposals by Prior and Searle. I argue that each proposal has a premise whose status as ethical or non-ethical is difficult to determine. In the second part of the paper, I consider taxonomies proposed by Karmo and Maitzen. I argue against both taxonomies. I end with the claim that we need a taxonomy of ethical sentences and that none of the current proposals are adequate. (shrink)
[David Charles] Aristotle, it appears, sometimes identifies well-being with one activity, sometimes with several, including ethical virtue. I argue that this appearance is misleading. In the Nicomachean Ethics, intellectual contemplation is the central case of human well-being, but is not identical with it. Ethically virtuous activity is included in human well-being because it is an analogue of intellectual contemplation. This structure allows Aristotle to hold that while ethically virtuous activity is valuable in its own right, the best life available for (...) humans is centred around, but not wholly constituted by, intellectual contemplation. /// [Dominic Scott] In Nicomachean Ethics X 7-8, Aristotle distinguishes two kinds of eudaimonia, primary and secondary. The first corresponds to contemplation, the second to activity in accordance with moral virtue and practical reason. My task in this paper is to elucidate this distinction. Like Charles, I interpret it as one between paradigm and derivative cases; unlike him, I explain it in terms of similarity, not analogy. Furthermore, once the underlying nature of the distinction is understood, we can reconcile the claim that paradigm eudaimonia consists just in contemplation with a passage in the first book requiring eudaimonia to involve all intrinsic goods. (shrink)
In ‘Two Notions of Being: Entity and Essence’ E. J. Lowe defends “serious essentialism”. Serious essentialism is the position that everything has an essence, essences are not themselves things, and essences are the ground for metaphysical necessity and possibility. Lowe's defence of serious essentialism is both metaphysical and epistemological. In what follows I use Lowe's discussion as a point of departure for, first, adding some considerations for the plausibility of essentialism and, second, some work on modal epistemology.
How do Dutch people let each other know that they disagree? What do they say when they want to resolve their difference of opinion by way of an argumentative discussion? In what way do they convey that they are convinced by each other’s argumentation? How do they criticize each other’s argumentative moves? Which words and expressions do they use in these endeavors? By answering these questions this short essay provides a brief inventory of the language of argumentation in Dutch.
This book analyses the straw man fallacy and its deployment in philosophical reasoning. While commonly invoked in both academic dialogue and public discourse, it has not until now received the attention it deserves as a rhetorical device. Scott Aikin and John Casey propose that straw manning essentially consists in expressing distorted representations of one's critical interlocutor. To this end, the straw man comprises three dialectical forms, and not only the one that is usually suggested: the straw man, the weak (...) man and the hollow man. Moreover, they demonstrate that straw manning is unique among fallacies as it has no particular logical form in itself, because it is an instance of inappropriate meta-argument, or argument about arguments. They discuss the importance of the onlooking audience to the successful deployment of the straw man, reasoning that the existence of an audience complicates the dialectical boundaries of argument. Providing a lively, provocative and thorough analysis of the straw man fallacy, this book will appeal to postgraduates and researchers alike, working in a range of fields including fallacies, rhetoric, argumentation theory and informal logic. (shrink)
Introduction: Why study ethics? -- Christian ethics -- Ethical systems and ways of moral reasoning -- Making ethical decisions -- Abortion and embryonic stem cell research -- Reproductive technologies -- Biotechnology, genetics, and human cloning -- Physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia -- Capital punishment -- Sexual ethics -- The morality of war -- Ethics and economics.
It is hard to think of a more banal statement one could make about the law than to say that it necessarily claims legal authority to govern conduct. What, after all, is a legal institution if not an entity that purports to have the legal power to create rules, confer rights, and impose obligations? Whether legal institutions necessarily claim the moral authority to exercise their legal powers is another question entirely. Some legal theorists have thought that they do—others have not (...) been so sure. But no one has ever denied that the law holds itself out as having the legal authority to tell us what we may or may not do. (shrink)
Inspired by a debate between Noam Chomsky and Jean Piaget, this work traces the development of natural history from Aristotle to Darwin, and demonstrates how the science of plants and animals has emerged from the common conceptions of folkbiology.
In _Character Compass_, Scott Seider offers portraits of three high-performing urban schools in Boston, Massachusetts that have made character development central to their mission of supporting student success, yet define character in three very different ways. One school focuses on students’ moral character development, another emphasizes civic character development, and the third prioritizes performance character development. Drawing on surveys, interviews, field notes, and student achievement data, _Character Compass _highlights the unique effects of these distinct approaches to character development as (...) well as the implications for parents, educators, and policymakers committed to fostering powerful school culture in their own school communities. (shrink)
This paper addresses a significant gap in the conceptualization of business ethics within different cultural influences. Though theoretical models of business ethics have recognized the importance of culture in ethical decision-making, few have examinedhow this influences ethical decision-making. Therefore, this paper develops propositions concerning the influence of various cultural dimensions on ethical decision-making using Hofstede''s typology.
In this book one of the world's foremost philosophers of language presents his unifying vision of the field--its principal achievements, its most pressing current questions, and its most promising future directions. In addition to explaining the progress philosophers have made toward creating a theoretical framework for the study of language, Scott Soames investigates foundational concepts--such as truth, reference, and meaning--that are central to the philosophy of language and important to philosophy as a whole. The first part of the book (...) describes how philosophers from Frege, Russell, Tarski, and Carnap to Kripke, Kaplan, and Montague developed precise techniques for understanding the languages of logic and mathematics, and how these techniques have been refined and extended to the study of natural human languages. The book then builds on this account, exploring new thinking about propositions, possibility, and the relationship between meaning, assertion, and other aspects of language use. An invaluable overview of the philosophy of language by one of its most important practitioners, this book will be essential reading for all serious students of philosophy. (shrink)
This manuscript reviews and synthesizes most of the major research studies in the area of consumer ethics that have appeared since 1990. It examines both conceptual and empirical works with an objective of encouraging researchers to pursue research in the consumer ethics area. Toward this end, the paper also suggests directions for future research.
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)
Business and marketing ethics have come to the forefront in recent years. While consumers have been surveyed regarding their perceptions of ethical business and marketing practices, research has been minimal with regard to their ethical beliefs and ideologies. This research investigates general attitudes of consumers relative to business, government and people in general, and compares these attitudes to their beliefs concerning various questionable consumer practices. The results show that consumers'' ethical beliefs are determined, in part, by who is at fault (...) in the unethical behavior (the seller or the buyer). The results also indicate that those with a more positive attitude toward business are less likely to engage in questionable consumer practices, but one''s attitudes toward salespeople, the government and people in general arenot related to the consumer''s ethical beliefs. (shrink)