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Displaying: 1-20 of 36 documents


1. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 5
Glen C. Joy Pierre Duhem on the Testing of Hypotheses
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In this paper I examine Pierre Duhem's position on the problem of crucial experiments and the falsification of hypotheses. Duhem maintained that conclusive falsification of an isolated hypothesis is impossible; he maintained further that crucial experiments are impossible. But, I argue, this does not imply, as Adolf Grunbaum and others have taken Duhem to imply, that one could always save any hypothesis by making adjustments elsewhere in the system. By analyzing the logic of falsification, by examining the text of Duhem's The Aim and Structure of Physical Theory, and by surveying the recent articles about Duhem I show the correct interpretation of Duhem, the primary reason for the misinterpretations of him, and the value of Duhem's position.
2. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 5
Richard B. Hall The Paradox of Majoritarianism
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A democrat who finds himself in the minority on some political issue is compelled to judge that the policy favored by the majority ought to be implemented even though he believes that same policy ought not to be implemented because it does not represent the best social policy. I argue that this paradox does not reduce to a mere conflict of prima facie judgments (Rawls); that to view the paradox as a conflict of desires rather than of principles (Barry) makes it impossible for the democrat to decide what policy is best; that the paradox does not rest on the mistaken assumption that the policy favored by the majority is the best (Haksar) and that it is only by understanding the seemingly incompatible judgments in a way that allows them both to be true that the paradox can be resolved.
3. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 5
Robert K. Shope Knowledge as Justified Belief in a True, Justified Proposition
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When analyzing 'justified factual knowledge that h', we must speak of justified belief in h and also of h ' s being a justified proposition. Gettier-type problems can be dealt with by requiring that the belief in h be justified through its connection with a 'justification-explaining chain' related to h. The social aspects of knowledge can be encompassed by analyzing what it is for h to be a justified proposition in terms of h's relation to the rationality of an 'epistemic community'.The discussion explains these analyses, and shows how to concept of a justification-explaining chain is related to Ernest Sosa's concept of a 'tree of knowledge'. The present account of justification is seen to be preferable.A rationale for appealing to justification-explaining chains emerges from Popper's concern with another type of knowledge, namely, sets of propositions embedded in systems used by epistemic communities in pursuit of epistemic goals.In conclusion, the present approach is related to a number of examples found in the literature concerning the social aspects of knowledge.
4. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 5
Ralph Ellis Directionality and Fragmentation in the Transcendental Ego
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Sartre says that no Husserlian transcendental ego can exist because it would have to be simultaneously both a principle of unification and a concrete, individual moment in the stream of consciousness. If the former, it could not be experienced phenomenologically and would become a hypothetical and purely theoretical construction, nor would it be congruent with the phenomenological idea of consciousness as experience. If the latter, it could not unify all moments of consciousness because it would exist merely as one of the moments to be unified. Against Sartre’s argument, we submit (on what we feel are essentially Husserlian grounds) that the ego can be and is both these things simultaneously, owing to the directional character of consciousness which Husserl describes in his lectures on time consciousness.
5. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 5
Richard J. Arneson Mill Versus Paternalism
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This paper attempts a defense of John Stuart Mill’s absolute ban against paternalistic restrictions on liberty. Mill’s principle looks more credible once we recognize that some instances of what are thought to be justified instances of paternalism are not instances of paternalism at all—e.g. anti-duelling laws. An interpretation of Mill’s argument is advanced which stresses his commitment to autonomy and his suggestion that exactly the same reasons which favor absolute freedom of speech also favor an absolute prohibition of paternalism. Alternative expositions and appraisals of Mill by Gerald Dworkin and Joel Feiriberg are criticized. Finally, consideration is given to two arguments that render Mill’s principle trivial via the denial that there are any significant self-regarding actions.
6. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 5
Charles Ripley Actions: Particulars or Properties?
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As it is appropriate to regard mental events as properties of their subject rather than as entities, so it is appropriate to treat actions as properties of the agent rather than as particulars. It is argued that the property approach to action should not be rejected because of the implausibility of the theories of Goldman and Kim; for properties need not and should not be individuated in their way. It is also argued that the question of treating actions as particulars or properties is to be settled on pragnatic grounds: it has no clear metaphysical significance. Finally it is argued that the logical form of action sentences, which Davidson endeavours to display by treating acts as particulars, can be shown with greater simplicity and plausibility on a property approach.
7. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 5
Beatrice H. Zedler Medicine and Philosophy in the Thought of Averroes
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The philosopher Averroes (1126-1198), known to the West as the Commentator on Aristotle, was also a physician. This suggests the question: Were medicine and philosophy two different and parallel interests in Averroes' intellectual life or were they in some way related within a single context of wisdom? By investigating Averroes' main, but often-neglected medical work, the Colliget, together with other relevant texts, this article showsthat Averroes sees medicine as based on principles of natural philosophy and parallel to moral philosophy. In both medical and philosophical contexts the principle of equilibrium is stressed.
8. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 5
Gregory J. Schufreider The Logic of the Absurd (in Kierkegaard’s Concluding Unscientific)
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An attempt to argue that the introduction of the category of the absurd into Kierkegaard's discussion of truth as subjectivity in the Postscript is an altogether rigorous and logical move.
9. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 5
Peter Barker Untangling the Net Metaphor
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The longest remarks in the section of the Tractatus devoted to science (6.3 ff.) introduce the net metaphor in a discussion of Newtonian mechanics. These sections of the Tractatus are generally believed to be inconsistent with the rest of the book. After a brief description of these difficulties and some relevant historical background I suggest a re-interpretation of the net metaphor in terms of contemporary debates about mechanics. This interpretation shows that the account of science in the Tractatus is an application of the picture theory and eliminates a long standing inconsistency in the reading of Wittgenstein.
10. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 5
Douglas Walton The Active-Passive Distinction in Ethical Decision-Making
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The subject of this paper is the distinction between (actively) bringing about and (passively) letting-happen, and the implications of the distinction in the ethics of decision-making, especially in cases of withdrawal of therapy in critical care. First, the no-difference arguments of Rachels and Tooley are outlined. Some counter-arguments to the no-difference thesis are brought forward, and it is concluded that all the no-difference arguments show is that in some cases the active-passive factor is relatively insignificant compared to other ethical factors. Yet the counterarguments make clear that in some cases, the active-passive factor is ethically critical. Therefore, as a general principle, the no-difference thesis must fail. Finally, it is argued that the no-difference thesis tends to misidentify action with bodily movement. Some discussion of how the active-passive distinction might be analysed is included.
11. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 5
Susan Mattingly The Right to Health Care and the Right to Die
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To establish a frame of reference for addressing the right to die question, I use Rawls's theory of justice to derive principles for the just distribution of health care —a primary good with distinctive attributes requiring distribution according to need, with lesser needs having priority. Where resources run out, or where care no longer functions as a primary good, the right to health care ends. This scheme of health care rights allows us to define three senses in which a patient may be said to have a right to die: he may lack the moral right to treatment necessary to life; he may have that right but choose not to exercise it; or he may have a moral right to treatment which shortens life.
12. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 5
Thomas R. Foster Cartwright, Giorgione, and the Principle of Substitutivity
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Philosophers have both produced as well as replied to a number of alleged "counter-examples" to the rule of substitution. Recently, Cartwright has urged that the standard reply to at least one of them is inadequate. The counter-example he singles out is:1) . Giorgioni is so-called because of his size.2) . Giorgiori = Barbarelli :3) . Barbarelli is so-called because of his size.Cartwright argues that since 1) and 2) are true while 3) false, substitution has failed. It is argued in reply that, contrary to Cartwright's claim, substitution does not even occur in the above argument. Rather, the meaning of the predicate "is so-called because of his size" changes from 1) to 3), rendering the invalidity the result of equivocation, not the failure of substitution.
13. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 5
Roddy F. Gerraughty Marcuse’s Understanding of Freud
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In his Eros and Civilization Marcuse seeks assurance in Freud of the possibility of a non-repressive society. He finds such assurance, this paper argues, only by misinterpreting the Freudian concepts of "reality" and "repression." By reducing reality simply to the perversity of nature and the consequent need to work, Marcuse ignores the essential social aspect of Freud's "reality," and the primarily sexual and interpersonal repression resulting from it. Marcuse sees such repression as unnecessary, mainly because he sees as its only source the unnatural organization of necessary repression, i.e., that unpleasure resulting from the need to work. The social organization necessitated by the exercise of sexual prerogative, which Freud emphasizes, Marcuse ignores. Given Marcuse's non-Freudian emphasis on nature, a non-repressive society seems possible, but at the same time history, that total, cultural milieu of man permeated by unnatural, "surplus" repression, becomes completely contingent and unintelligible.
14. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 5
Ruth M. Mattern An Index of References to Claims in Spinoza’s Ethics
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This index gives the location of each reference in Spinoza's Ethics to every axiom, definition, corollary, scholium, and proposition in that work.
15. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 5
Jeffery E. Paul The Withering of Nozick’s Minimal State
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Robert Nozick has attempted to demonstrate that a state can emerge from anarchy which will be legitimate, in that it acquires power in morally permissible (i.e., non rights violating) ways. Its monopoly on force and apparent redistribution of holdings are, according to Nozick, justified by the steps required to prevent risky behavior by the dominant agency. These steps, I argue, contravene Nozick's own entitlement principles and so, his dominant agency is not warranted in taking them. This leaves Nozick "stranded" within his own state of nature, the dominant agency unable to legitimately transform itself into a night watchman state.
16. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 5
Ruth Garrett Millikan An Evolutionist Approach to Language
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I argue that looking for functions that explain the survival value of various language forms (e.g., words, surface syntactic structures) taken with their characteristic cooperative hearer responses, while looking also for functions that explain the survival value of the mental or neural equipments that learn to produce and to react to these language forms, is a reasonable and promising approach to the study of language and the philosophy of mind. The approach promises to help to unify the philosophy of language, showing clearly how the semantic or representational side of language and the performance or "doing" side of language are integrated. The approach leads us, among other places, to a naturalistic theory of representations (e.g., sentences, beliefs, intentions) that is a distant yet genuine relative of current "causal" and "historical" theories of knowledge and of reference.
17. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 5
Robert Bolton On the Argument of Phaedo 73c - 75c
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The passage in the Phaedo where Plato argues that all learning is, in some sense, recovery of knowledge which we already possess has been as much discussed as any in Plato's dialogues. Despite this, or perhaps because of it, there are many questions about the passage which have not yet been satisfactorily answered. Answers are offered here to some of the most pressing of these questions taking special account of some useful recent discussion of the passage.
18. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 5
George Nakhnikian Reason, Love, and Mental Health
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This essay is a defense of Platonic eudalmonism. Plato identified human excellence with mental health, mental health with psychic harmony, psychic harmony with the rule of reason, and he conceived reason to he the synergetic union of the power to know and the power to love. Plato believed that virtue is a constitutent of eudaimonia, that, therefore, it is its own reward. Plato was right on all these counts but one. He misunderstood the nature of the love that is a constituent of reason. That love is not the eras of the Symposium. It is what I call'undemanding love'. In this essay I describe the structure of undemanding love and I explain its connections with reason, mental health, and the moral excellence that is characteristic of a rational being.
19. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 5
Richard W. Momeyer Two Ways of Justifying Civil Disobedience
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It might appear that apologists for legal systems should have a more difficult time justifying particular acts of civil disobedience than do anarchist critics of legal systems. But while this might be so for law breaking simpliciter, I argue that it is not so for civilly disobedient law breaking. The logic of morally justifying civil disobedience is remarkably similar for both legal apologists and anarchists, and diverges only on the question of accepting punishment for one's acts. But even here what it is obligatory upon either to do is remarkably similar. Where differences in how civil disobedience is justified begin to arise is on the question of accepting punishment for breaking the law. For readily discernible reasons this is a strict obligation for legal apologists; for anarchists, however, it is but a contingent obligation. Nonetheless, in practice anarchists who engage in civil disobedience will find themselves under an obligation to suffer punishment. Essentially this is because doing so is necessary in order that the act of civil disobedience be an effective one, and like everyone else, anarchists have an obligation to try to be effective in the actions they undertake to remedy injustice. The paper concludes with offering two reasons why even anarchists ought to risk submitting to punishment by illegitimate authority by engaging in civil disobedience.
20. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 5
Oliver A. Johnson Ignorance and Irrationality: A Study in Contemporary Scepticism
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The essay is an exposition and critical analysis of Peter Unger's book Ignorance: A Case for Scepticism (Oxford, 1975). In the introductory chapter my main object, in addition to defining terms, is to distinguish the two forms of scepticism Unger defends in Ignorance, which he calls, respectively, scepticism about knowledge and scepticism about rationality. Chapter II is devoted to an exposition, analysis, and evaluation of the latter and Chapter III of the former. In Chapter IV I consider a second-order argument that informs Unger's case throughout the book, his "ancestor language" hypothesis. In the final chapter I assess his scepticism as a whole and attempt to develop some of its implications concerning both the possibility and actuality of knowledge.