As my book The Uses of Argument pointed out, we must look and see how our critical standards vary from one area or activity to another-e.g. from politics to aesthetics. Hence we need to explore how these critical standards evolve. and how the most reflective and best-informed people in any area of experience refine those standards. We cannot understand where we are now unless we understand how we got here, even in a field like mathematics. Hence we must modestly recognize (...) that the best we can do now is the best we can do now; and that those who come after us will move beyond our ideas. There is much contingency in these historical developments. (shrink)
Gustaf son's ethics is both conservative and revolutionary. By taking Calvin, Luther, and Augustine as discussion partners, he avoids the "culs-de-sac" into which seventeenth-century physical science drove the "theology" of nature. In doing so, he shares the Stoic tendency in late twentieth-century science, e.g., in ecology. For him, "the powers that bear down on us and sustain us" are present in our experience of the world; and this experience must square with our other empirical knowledge, e.g., in biology. Yet it (...) is not clear how we are to ground, in detail, the "moral" perceptions of nature to which Gustafson finally appeals. (shrink)
Toulmin’s scheme for the layout of arguments (1958, The Uses of Argument, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge) represents an influential tool for the analysis of arguments. The scheme enriches the traditional premises-conclusion model of arguments by distinguishing additional elements, like warrant, backing and rebuttal. The present paper contains a formal elaboration of Toulmin’s scheme, and extends it with a treatment of the formal evaluation of Toulmin-style arguments, which Toulmin did not discuss at all. Arguments are evaluated in (...) terms of a so-called dialectical interpretation of their assumptions. In such an interpretation, an argument’s assumptions can be evaluated as defeated, e.g., when there is a defeating reason against the assumption. The present work builds on recent research on defeasible argumentation (cf. e.g. the work of Pollock, Reiter, Loui, Vreeswijk, Prakken, Hage and Dung). More specifically, the author’s work on the dialectical logic DEFLOG and the argumentation tool ARGUMED serve as starting points. (shrink)
Some solo verbal reasoning serves the function of arriving at a correct answer to a question from information at the reasoner’s disposal. Such reasoning is good if and only if its grounds are justified and adequate, its warrant is justified, and the reasoner is justified in assuming that no defeaters apply. I distinguish seven sources of justified grounds and state the conditions under which each source is trustworthy. Adequate grounds include all good relevant information practically obtainable by the reasoner. The (...) claim must follow from the grounds in accordance with a justified general warrant. If this warrant is not universal, the reasoner must be justified in assuming that no exception-making circumstances hold in the particular case to which it is applied. (shrink)
RESUMO O objetivo deste artigo é discutir uma releitura do layout de argumentos proposto originalmente por StephenToulmin e desenvolvido posteriormente por Toulmin; Rieke; Janik no sentido de enquadrá-lo como: um instrumento útil para a análise da configuração funcional da argumentação epistêmica e, por conseguinte, para a avaliação da consistência da argumentação, o que está ligado à faceta justificatória de tal atividade; um instrumento válido para a análise do dissenso e do dialogismo, característicos da faceta comunicativa da (...) argumentação, no que diz respeito ao funcionamento da prova retórica do logos, um dos principais fatores envolvidos no processo de conquista da adesão. Nesse sentido, procedemos a uma reconceptualização dos componentes do layout de argumentos - Alegação, Dados, Garantia, Base, Qualificador e Refutação - e propomos uma noção de movimento argumentativo compatível com a nossa abordagem, que busca ser linguística, discursiva e cognitivamente coerente, respondendo a requisitos teóricos e analíticos ligados tanto à faceta justificatória quanto comunicativa da argumentação. ABSTRACT This paper aims to discuss a reframing of Toulmin’s layout of arguments, originally proposed in The Uses of Argument and further developed in An Introduction to Reasoning. In this approach, we conceive of the layout as: a useful instrument for analyzing the functional configuration of epistemic argumentation and, thus, for evaluating consistency, a dimension of analysis pertaining to the justificatory facet of argumentation; a valid instrument for analyzing dissension and dialogism, fundamental elements of the communicative facet of argumentation, in terms of the functioning of logos, one of the rhetorical proofs involved in the process of achieving adherence. Hence, we reconceptualize the components of the layout - Claim, Data, Warrant, Backing, Qualifier and Rebuttal - and propose a notion of argumentative move compatible with our approach, which aims at achieving linguistic, discursive and cognitive coherence and at responding to the theoretical and analytical requirements involved in the consideration of the justificatory and communicative facets of argumentation. (shrink)
During the last twenty-five years or so there has been a remarkable growth in the interdisciplinary field bordering on cognitive psychology, linguistics, neurobiology, artificial intelligence, and the philosophy of mind. The book under review makes a belated but significant contribution to the literature of cognitive science, since it provides the first detailed comparison of the views of two of the field's most influential figures, Noam Chomsky and Jean Piaget. The text is based on a conference which was held in October (...) of 1975 at the Abbaye de Royaumont near Paris. Besides Chomsky and Piaget, the participants at the conference included such notables as Jacques Monod and Gregory Bateson, the philosophers Jerry Fodor and StephenToulmin, psychologists Norbert Bischof, David Premack and Bärbel Inhelder, as well as distinguished representatives from the fields of biology, anthropology, and artificial intelligence. The major focus of the discussion concerned the differences between Chomsky's and Piaget's views on the nature/nurture question in psychology. (shrink)
Bergson's 1896 theory of perception/memory assumed a framework anticipating the quantum revolution in physics, the still unrealized implications of this framework contributing to the large neglect of Bergson today. The basics of his model are explored, including the physical concepts he advanced before the crisis in classical physics, his concept of perception as ‘virtual action’ with its relativistic implications, and his unique explication of the subject/object relationship. All form the basis for his solution to the ‘hard’ problem. The relation between (...) Bergson and Gibson as natural complements is also explored, with Bergson providing the framework that explicates Gibson's concept of direct perception, with Gibson's resonance model as a precursor to dynamic systems models of the brain and his reliance on invariance laws defining perceived events providing more detail for the mechanisms Bergson only envisioned from afar, and with Bergson providing the basis for an otherwise missing Gibsonian model of direct memory. (shrink)
The Limits of Influence is a detailed examination and defense of the evidence for largescale-psychokinesis . It examines the reasons why experimental evidence has not, and perhaps cannot, convince most skeptics that PK is genuine, and it considers why traditional experimental procedures are important to reveal interesting facts about the phenomena.
For over thirty years, Stephen Braude has studied the paranormal in everyday life, from extrasensory perception and psychokinesis to mediumship and materialization. _The Gold Leaf Lady and Other Parapsychological Investigations_ is a highly readable and often amusing account of his most memorable encounters with such phenomena. Here Braude recounts in fascinating detail five particular cases—some that challenge our most fundamental scientific beliefs and others that expose our own credulousness. Braude begins with a south Florida woman who can make thin (...) gold-colored foil appear spontaneously on her skin. He then travels to New York and California to test psychokinetic superstars—and frauds—like Joe Nuzum, who claim to move objects using only their minds. Along the way, Braude also investigates the startling allegations of K.R., a policeman in Annapolis who believes he can transfer images from photographs onto other objects—including his own body—and Ted Serios, a deceased Chicago elevator operator who could make a variety of different images appear on Polaroid film. Ultimately, Braude considers his wife’s surprisingly fruitful experiments with astrology, which she has used to guide professional soccer teams to the top of their leagues, as well as his own personal experiences with synchronicity—a phenomenon, he argues, that may need to be explained in terms of a refined, extensive, and dramatic form of psychokinesis. Heady, provocative, and brimming with eye-opening details and suggestions, _The Gold Leaf Lady and Other Parapsychological Investigations_ will intrigue both adherents and detractors of its controversial subject matter alike. (shrink)
Evolutionary theory has yet to offer a detailed model of the complex transitions from a living system of one design to another of more advanced, or simply different, design. Hidden within the writings of evolution's expositors is an implicit appeal to AI-like processes operating within the "cosmic machine" that has hitherto been evolving the plethora of functional living systems we observe. In these writings, there is disturbingly little understanding of the deep problems involved, resting as they do in the very (...) heart of AI. The end-state requirements for a system, device, or "machine" with intelligence capable of design are examined. The representational power must be sufficient to support analogical thought, an operation demanding transformations of events in imagery, in turn a function of perception, both dependent on a non-differentiable flow of time. The operational dynamics of the device must inherit this fundamental property of the dynamically transforming matter-field. Whether the evolutionary mechanisms or algorithmics thus far envisioned by biology or AI are coordinate with such requirements is left seriously in doubt. (shrink)
What is art's relationship to play? Those interested in this question tend to look to modern philosophy for answers, but, as this book shows, the question was already debated in antiquity by luminaries like Plato and Aristotle. Over the course of eight chapters, this book contextualizes those debates, and demonstrates their significance for theoretical problems today. Topics include the ancient child psychology at the root of the ancient Greek word for 'play', the numerous toys that have survived from antiquity, and (...) the meaning of play's conceptual opposite, the 'serious'. What emerges is a concept of play markedly different from the one we have inherited from modernity. Play is not a certain set of activities which unleashes a certain feeling of pleasure; it is rather a certain feeling of pleasure that unleashes the activities we think of as 'play'. As such, it offers a new set of theoretical challenges. (shrink)
Skepticism has always been a part of the history of Western philosophy. If one were to look at current works focusing on the history of skepticism in philosophy, however, one would get the impression that skepticism disappeared from the philosophical landscape after the work of Sextus Empiricus, only to reappear with the methodological skepticism of Descartes. Yet, did skepticism, which had thus been so prevalent in the ancient period, disappear so completely during the middle Ages? The resounding answer that this (...) dissertation proposes to give to this question is no. To that end, the main focus will be on Nicolaus of Autrecourt, a figure in the waning High Middle Ages who revived skepticism within a peculiarly Christian context. In the first three chapters of the dissertation, the skepticism of Nicolaus of Autrecourt will be studied. Starting in the first chapter with a study of Nicolaus's life and the skeptical elements of his correspondence, the second chapter will continue to look for these same skeptical elements in his Exigit ordo, while the third chapter will look for possible influences on Nicolaus's skepticism. The fourth and fifth chapter will present views similar to Nicolaus's in the works of the Muslim thinker al-Ghazali and the more well-known David Hume concerning the skepticism of causal necessity. In the sixth and final chapter, a major difference between the doctrines of Nicolaus and al-Ghazali on the one hand and Hume on the other concerning the issue of miracles will be examined. From this point, a simplified genealogy of skepticism shall be offered, and it will be contended that the skepticisms of Nicolaus and al-Ghazali deserve a place in that genealogy. By allowing Nicolaus's and al-Ghazali's type of skepticism into this genealogy, the main conclusion shall be that skepticism is in fact a double-edged sword that can be used against religion by attempting to destroy the ability of reason to come to any definitive conclusions about God or against atheistic philosophy in leaving room for faith in the omnipotence of God. (shrink)
The Limits of Influence is a detailed examination and defense of the evidence for largescale-psychokinesis. It examines the reasons why experimental evidence has not, and perhaps cannot, convince most skeptics that PK is genuine, and it considers why traditional experimental procedures are important to reveal interesting facts about the phenomena.