Warren Quinn was widely regarded as a moral philosopher of remarkable talent. This collection of his most important contributions to moral philosophy and the philosophy of action has been edited for publication by Philippa Foot. Quinn laid out the foundations for an anti-utilitarian moral philosophy that was critical of much contemporary work in ethics, such as the anti-realism of Gilbert Harman and the neo-subjectivism of Bernard Williams. Quinn's own distinctive moral theory is developed in the discussion of substantial, practical (...) moral issues. For example, there are important pieces here on the permissibility of abortion, the justification of punishing criminals when no particular good seems likely to result, and on the distinction between killing and allowing to die, a distinction crucial to the subject of euthanasia and other topics in medical ethics. The volume would be ideally suited to upper-level undergraduate courses and graduate seminars on the foundations of ethics. (shrink)
Writings by a thinker—a psychiatrist, a philosopher, a cybernetician, and a poet—whose ideas about mind and brain were far ahead of his time. Warren S. McCulloch was an original thinker, in many respects far ahead of his time. McCulloch, who was a psychiatrist, a philosopher, a teacher, a mathematician, and a poet, termed his work “experimental epistemology.” He said, “There is one answer, only one, toward which I've groped for thirty years: to find out how brains work.” Embodiments of (...) Mind, first published more than fifty years ago, teems with intriguing concepts about the mind/brain that are highly relevant to recent developments in neuroscience and neural networks. It includes two classic papers coauthored with Walter Pitts, one of which applies Boolean algebra to neurons considered as gates, and the other of which shows the kind of nervous circuitry that could be used in perceiving universals. These first models are part of the basis of artificial intelligence. Chapters range from “What Is a Number, that a Man May Know It, and a Man, that He May Know a Number,” and “Why the Mind Is in the Head,” to “What the Frog's Eye Tells the Frog's Brain” (with Jerome Lettvin, Humberto Maturana, and Walter Pitts), “Machines that Think and Want,” and “A Logical Calculus of the Ideas Immanent in Nervous Activity” (with Walter Pitts). Embodiments of Mind concludes with a selection of McCulloch's poems and sonnets. This reissued edition offers a new foreword and a biographical essay by McCulloch's one-time research assistant, the neuroscientist and computer scientist Michael Arbib. (shrink)
This book is the first extensive treatment of Husserl's phenomenology of time-consciousness. Nicolas de Warren uses detailed analysis of texts by Husserl, some only recently published in German, to examine Husserl's treatment of time-consciousness and its significance for his conception of subjectivity. He traces the development of Husserl's thinking on the problem of time from Franz Brentano's descriptive psychology, and situates it in the framework of his transcendental project as a whole. Particular discussions include the significance of time-consciousness for (...) other phenomenological themes: perceptual experience, the imagination, remembrance, self-consciousness, embodiment, and the consciousness of others. The result is an illuminating exploration of how and why Husserl considered the question of time-consciousness to be the most difficult, yet also the most central, of all the challenges facing his unique philosophical enterprise"--Provided by publisher. (shrink)
The ancient philosophical school of Epicureanism tried to argue that death is "nothing to us." Were they right? James Warren provides a comprehensive study and articulation of the interlocking arguments against the fear of death found not only in the writings of Epicurus himself, but also in Lucretius' poem De rerum natura and in Philodemus' work De morte. These arguments are central to the Epicurean project of providing ataraxia (freedom from anxiety) and therefore central to an understanding of Epicureanism (...) as a whole. They also offer significant resources for modern discussions of the value of death--one which stands at the intersection of metaphysics and ethics. If death is the end of the subject, and the subject can not be benefited nor harmed after death, is it reasonable nevertheless to fear the ceasing-to-be? If the Epicureans are not right to claim that the dead can neither be benefited nor harmed, what alternative models might be offered for understanding the harm done by death and do these alternatives suffer from any further difficulties? The discussion involves consideration of both ethical and metaphysical topics since it requires analysis not only of the nature of a good life but also the nature of personal identity and time. A number of modern philosophers have offered criticisms or defences of the Epicureans' views. Warren explores and evaluates these in the light of a systematic and detailed study of the precise form and intention of the Epicureans' original arguments. Warren argues that the Epicureans also were interested in showing that mortality is not to be regretted and that premature death is not to be feared. Their arguments for these conclusions are to be found in their positive conception of the nature of a good and complete life, which divorce the completeness of a life as far as possible from considerations of its duration. Later chapters investigate the nature of a life lived without the fear of death and pose serious problems for the Epicureans being able to allow any concern for the post mortem future and being able to offer a positive reason for prolonging a life which is already complete in their terms. (shrink)
This book offers a reassessment of the work of Emile Durkheim in the context of a French philosophical tradition that had seriously misinterpreted Kant by interpreting his theory of the categories as psychological faculties. Durkheim's sociological theory of the categories, as revealed by Warren Schmaus, is an attempt to provide an alternative way of understanding Kant. For Durkheim the categories are necessary conditions for human society. The concepts of causality, space and time underpin the moral rules and obligations that (...) make society possible. A particularly interesting feature of this book is its transcendence of the distinction between intellectual and social history by placing Durkheim's work in the context of the French educational establishment of the Third Republic. It does this by subjecting student notes and philosophy textbooks to the same sort of critical analysis typically applied only to the classics of philosophy. (shrink)
Mary Anne Warren investigates a theoretical question that is at the centre of practical and professional ethics: what are the criteria for having moral status? That is: what does it take to be an entity towards which people have moral considerations? Warren argues that no single property will do as a sole criterion, and puts forward seven basic principles which establish moral status. She then applies these principles to three controversial moral issues: voluntary euthanasia, abortion, and the status (...) of non-human animals. (shrink)
The Pleasures of Reason in Plato, Aristotle, and the Hellenistic Hedonists se centra en la relación mutua entre las capacidades humanas de sentir placer y dolor y el carácter afectivo que las une con las facultades cognitivas de aprender, comprender, recordar, evocar, planificar y anticiparse. Para esto, Warren consagra toda su agudeza analítica a eminentes obras del pensamiento antiguo: particularmente nos referimos a los diálogos platónicos República, Protágoras y Filebo. Otro tanto hace con De Anima, De Memoria et Reminiscentia, (...) Ética a Nicómaco, Retórica y Poética de Aristóteles. Finalmente, hacia la mitad y sobre el final del libro, se dedica a poner en diálogo sus análisis sobre Platón y Aristóteles con las escuelas hedonistas clásicas del helenismo: epicúreos y cirenaicos. (shrink)
Because of the “all-or-none” character of nervous activity, neural events and the relations among them can be treated by means of propositional logic. It is found that the behavior of every net can be described in these terms, with the addition of more complicated logical means for nets containing circles; and that for any logical expression satisfying certain conditions, one can find a net behaving in the fashion it describes. It is shown that many particular choices among possible neurophysiological assumptions (...) are equivalent, in the sense that for every net behaving under one assumption, there exists another net which behaves under the other and gives the same results, although perhaps not in the same time. Various applications of the calculus are discussed. (shrink)
Scott Warren’s ambitious and enduring work sets out to resolve the ongoing identity crisis of contemporary political inquiry. In the Emergence of Dialectical Theory, Warren begins with a careful analysis of the philosophical foundations of dialectical theory in the thought of Kant, Hegel, and Marx. He then examines how the dialectic functions in the major twentieth-century philosophical movements of existentialism, phenomenology, neomarxism, and critical theory. Numerous major and minor philosophers are discussed, but the emphasis falls on two of (...) the greatest dialectical thinkers of the previous century: Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Jürgen Habermas. Warren’s shrewd critique is indispensable to those interested in the history of social and political thought and the philosophical foundations of political theory. His work offers an alternative for those who find postmodernism to be at a philosophical impasse. (shrink)
Posner & Raichle'sImages of mindis an excellent educational book and very well written. Some flaws as a scientific publication are: (a) the accuracy of the linear subtraction method used in PET is subject to scrutiny by further research at finer spatial-temporal resolutions; (b) lack of accuracy of the experimental paradigm used for EEG complementary studies.
This commentary focuses on how bottom-up neocortical models can be developed into eigenfunction expansions of probability distributions appropriate to describe short-term memory in the context of scalp EEG. The mathematics of eigenfunctions are similar to the top-down eigenfunctions developed by Nunez, despite different physical manifestations. The bottom-up eigenfunctions are at the local mesocolumnar scale, whereas the top-down eigenfunctions are at the global regional scale. Our respective approaches have regions of substantial overlap, and future studies may expand top-down eigenfunctions into the (...) bottom-up eigenfunctions, yielding a model of scalp EEG expressed in terms of columnar states of neocortical processing of attention and short-term memory. Footnotes1 The author is also affiliated with DRW Investments LLC, 311 S. Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL 60606. (shrink)
The work in progress reported by Wright & Liley shows great promise, primarily because of their experimental and simulation paradigms. However, their tentative conclusion that macroscopic neocortex may be considered (approximately) a linear near-equilibrium system is premature and does not correspond to tentative conclusions drawn from other studies of neocortex.
Warren Goldfarb, Deductive Logic, Hackett Publishing Company, 2003. : 0872206602. Deductive Logic is an introductory textbook in formal logic. The book is divided into four parts covering truth-functional logic, monadic quantiﬁ- cation, polyadic quantiﬁcation and names and identity, and there are exercises for all these topics at the end of the book. In the truth-functional logic part, the reader learns to produce paraphrases of English statements and arguments in logical notation, then about the semantic properties of (...) such paraphrased statements and arguments, such as satisﬁability, implication and equivalence and ﬁnally there is an axiomatic proof method and some important extras such as disjunctive normal form and expressive adequacy. Parts two and three mirror this analysis/assessment/reﬂection structure for monadic and polyadic quantiﬁcation, though this time the proof system is a natural deduction one, and part three contains a completeness proof for that system. The fourth part of the book introduces names, the identity predicate and descriptions and examines the additional expressive power which these provide. I do not think there should be any doubt that this is an excellent book; it presents the essential topics of a ﬁrst logic course with accuracy, clarity and attention to detail, and it makes material that can be confusing the ﬁrst time round—say, the translation of conditionals—transparent and easy to understand. But there are a lot of good introductory logic textbooks out there, so I will say something about how it resembles and diﬀers from some other books, and then discuss one minor irritation with this one. (shrink)
This book examines the use, principally in economics, of the concept of the invisible hand, centering on Adam Smith. It interprets the concept as ideology, knowledge, and a linguistic phenomenon. It shows how the principal Chicago School interpretation misperceives and distorts what Smith believed on the economic role of government. The essays further show how Smith was silent as to his intended meaning, using the term to set minds at rest; how the claim that the invisible hand is the foundational (...) concept of economics is repudiated by numerous leading economic theorists; that several dozen identities given the invisible hand renders the term ambiguous and inconclusive; that no such thing as an invisible hand exists; and that calling something an invisible hand adds nothing to knowledge. Finally, the essays show that the leading doctrines purporting to claim an invisible hand for the case for capitalism cannot invoke the term but that other nonnormative invisible hand processes are still useful tools. (shrink)
Some philosophers have argued that putative logical disagreements aren't really disagreements at all since when you change your logic you thereby change the meanings of your logical constants. According to this picture classical logicians and intuitionists don't really disagree, they just mean different things by terms like “not” and “or”. Quine gave an infamous “translation argument” for this view. Here I clarify the change of logic, change of meaning (CLCM) thesis, examine and find fault with Quine's translation argument for the (...) thesis, offer a modified translation argument in its stead, defend my modified argument from a crucial objection, discuss where the CLCM thesis leaves logical disputes, and discuss if and how the thesis coheres with Quine's influential view of logic. (shrink)
From mainstream blockbusters to art house cinema, narrative and narration are the driving forces that organize a film. Yet attempts to explain these forces are often mired in notoriously complex terminology and dense theory. Warren Buckland provides a clear and accessible introduction that explains how narrative and narration work using straightforward language. Narrative and Narration distills the basic components of cinematic storytelling into a set of core concepts: narrative structure, processes of narration, and narrative agents. The book opens with (...) a discussion of the emergence of narrative and narration in early cinema and proceeds to illustrate key ideas through numerous case studies. Each chapter guides readers through different methods that they can use to analyze cinematic storytelling. Buckland also discusses how departures from traditional modes, such as feminist narratives, art cinema, and unreliable narrators, can complicate and corroborate the book's understanding of narrative and narration. Examples include mainstream films, both classic and contemporary; art house films of every stripe; and two relatively new styles of cinematic storytelling: the puzzle film and those driven by a narrative logic derived from video games. Narrative and Narration is a concise introduction that provides readers with fundamental tools to understand cinematic storytelling. (shrink)
This is a magazine article discussing the philosophy of mathematics and arguing for mathematical conventionalism, written for a non-academic audience. (As often happens with popular articles, the editors made some changes that I'm not completely happy with, e.g., the titled section headings and sub-title.).
This text provides a straightforward, lively but rigorous, introduction to truth-functional and predicate logic, complete with lucid examples and incisive exercises, for which Warren Goldfarb is renowned.
Providing another key contribution to the immensely popular field of law and economics, this book, written by the doyen of the history of economic thought in the US, explores the dynamic relationship between economics, law and polity. Combining a selection of old and new essays by Warren J. Samuels that chart a number of key themes, it provides an important commentary on the development of an academic field and demonstrates how policy is structured and manipulated by human social construction. (...) The areas covered include: the role of manufactured belief power the nature and sources of rights the construction of markets by firms and governments and the problem of continuity and change in the form of the question of the selectively defined status quo and its status the absolutist character of government, rights, markets and legal principles and the accepted ideational structure of law. The Legal-Economic Nexus is an essential read both economists and legal professionals as well as those researching the history of economic thought and the social construction of law. (shrink)
“What does ‘interpellation’ actually mean?” asks Warren Montag. Returning to the foundational concept of Althusser’s writings, Montag highlights its difficulty and importance. Examining what appears to be a settled matter, Montag argues for a renewed interest in the violence underpinning the concept: “there is nothing illusory about the means of subjection,” he writes.
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