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101. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 4
Solomon E. Levy Dialogues Concerning Unnatural Uniformity (or Hume Persistently Misunderstood)
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The subject of the "Dialogues" is the nature of the Humean "objects" which are "constantly conjoined" or historically and repetitively given in the same (mere) spatio-temporal relations. One participant contends that scientific knowledge is of indefinite possibilities of action, prevention, invention, and complication as functions of historically-changing and changeable causally affecting contingencies; and hence is not reducible to mere exceptionless (and hence fatalistic) correlations. The other participant contends that this reflects a "persistent misunderstanding of Hume": it is the "total" cause and effect which are given as (merely) constantly conjoined, but only contingently so. The "Dialogues" explore the defensibility of these positions, and their implications for our conceptions of uniformity, lawfulness, induction, sampling, verification, and theory construction.
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102. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 4
Paul Gomberg Are We Ever Right to Say We Know?
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Austin tried to forstall skeptical conclusions from the alleged ever present possibility of error. He felt that knowledge did not preclude the possibility of error and that the appearance that it did was due to a pragmatic requirement of saying one knows. Moreover, he seemed to feel that we were often right to say we know even though it is always possible that we are mistaken. The present paper argues, contra Austin, that if it is always possible that we are mistaken, then the skeptic is right that we never know and that it is never right to say we know.
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103. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 4
Kirk Dallas Wilson Kant's Transcendental Deductions An Outline of Theor Strategy and Execution
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To understand Kant's transcendental deduction of categories we must distinguish between Kant's strategy foe constructing such a deduction and the manner in which this strategy is executed. I argue that both versions of the deduction contain similar strategies in which categories are identified with transcendental conditions of experience. Where the versions differ substantially is in the manner Kant executes the various stages of this strategy. It is pointed out, for instance, that in the objective deduction in A Kant introduces 'understanding' as a defined term (A119), whereas in B Kant postulates understanding as the fundamental activity of synthesis in terms of which he formulates the arguments of each stage of the deduction. Once the distinction between strategy and execution is accepted, much of Vaihinger's evidence for the "patchwork thesis" dissolves. But I also argue that in neither version of the deduction does Kant execute the identificatory strategy with convincing success.
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104. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 4
Neil Lubow Mind-Body Identity and Irreducible Properties
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The identity theory, advocated as a solution to the mind-body problem by materialists such as Feigl and Smart, has been criticized for implying the existence of irreducible properties (i.e. properties incompatible with materialism). After summarizing the relevant theses of materialism, I consider several versions of the irreducible properties objection, and argue that they are all unsuccessful.
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105. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 4
Phillip H. Wiebe Criteria of Strengthening Evidence
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Confirmation theorists have frequently expressed an interest in evidence which strengthens a hypothesis or in evidence which makes a hypothesis firmer. A number of criteria have been offered, including the instantial criterion, the prediction criteria, and Hempel's satisfaction criterion. All of these criteria are dyadic, but the concept of strengthening evidence is triadic, for it makes explicit reference to an evidence report and a hypothesis, and implicit reference to prior evidence in the light of which a new evidence report must be evaluated. I argue that the approach to strengthening evidence reflected in these criteria is inadequate, that is, that dydic criteria can be of only limited value in connection with a triadic concept. I discuss the possibility that these criteria have been offered for the concept of initially strengthening evidence. The latter explanation is rejected, and other explanations for having failed to consider prior evidence are discussed.
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106. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 4
Gary Fuller Hayden White on Historical Narratives
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In a number of places over the last few years Hayden White has attacked a view of history which I shall call the common-sense position and which runs as follows. Although moral and aesthetic assessments play some role in the writing of history, historians are to a large extent concerned with making true statements about the past and with giving correct explanations pf past events, and these central activities can and ought to be assessed by empirical standards, which on the whole are not dissimilar to those employed in the sciences. For White, historical accounts are more like literary fictions than like scientific accounts. They are to be assessed ultimately by appeal to pragmatic, moral, and aesthetic considerations rather than to empirical ones. My aim in this paper is mainly critical. I shall examine a number of claims and arguments which White puts forward in opposition to the common-sense position and argue that they do nothing to undermine it. I shall concentrate mainly on his article "The Historical Text as a Literary Artifact" (in Clio, Vol. Ill, No. 3, June, 1974), although I shall be making some reference to his book Metahistory (John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 1973).
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107. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 4
Thomas Donaldson Psychoanalysis and the Practical Inference Mode
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The paper considers the general question of whether unconscious practical inference is possible. It undertakes an investigation of Freud's theory of psychoanalysis, in order to determine whether his theory can meet the requirements of the practical inference model, and thus make room for unconscious practical inference. The paper argues that it cannot: although Freud's theory appears to meet certain conditions necessary for practical inference, i.e., minimal agent rationality and the postulation of desires, it leaves out one element which is essential for the identification of an unconscious practical inference—namely, unconscious belief.
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108. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 4
David Basinger Evil as Evidence Against the Existence of God: A Response
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Robert Pargetter has recently argued that, even if the theist cannot produce plausible explanations for the evil we experience, the atheologian has no justifiable basis for claiming that evil can in any sense count as strong evidence against God's existence. His strategy is to challenge as question-begging (1) the atheologian's assumption that a prima facie conflict between God and evil exists and (2) the atheologian's claim that God's nonexistence is a more plausible explanation for unresolved (unexplained) evil than a number of theistic options. I argue that Pargetter is unsuccessful, mainly because he (1) fails to understand clearly the conditions under which a prima facie moral conflict exists and (2) fails to distinguish clearly between 'plausibility' and 'possibility' as these terms are applicable to explanatory hypotheses.
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109. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 4
Steven Rappaport Quine's Behaviorism
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Some charge W.V. Quine with being a behaviorist. Others attempt to clear him of the charge. In replying to Harman in Words and Objections, Quine himself says he is as behavioristic as anyone in his right mind could be, but nowhere does he give us a satisfactory account of how behavioristic that is. It is worthwhile trying to clear up this confusing situation. Two kinds of behaviorism are often distinguished, logical behaviorism and the thesis about the science of psychology known as methodological behaviorism. A careful definition of logical behaviorism, together with a description of relevant aspects of Quine's philosophy, enable us to conclude that Quine is no logical behaviorist. Rather, various moves Quine makes justify ascribing to him a doctrine we call "methodological behaviorism in linguistics." Our definition of this doctrine is based on an extended analysis of methodological behaviorism in psychology.
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110. 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.
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111. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 5
J. David Newell Sidgwick’s Common Sense Realism
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The aim of the paper is to present an exposition of Henry Sidgwick's view of the relationship between philosophy and common sense. Sidgwick's views on such traditional philosophical issues as the existence of God, the free will controversy, and the nature of mind and matter are presented. It is argued that Sidgwick has a very positive attitude toward the beliefs of the educated plain man and that he accepts a philosophical outlook which might warrant us in classifying him, with some qualification, as a common sense realist.
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112. 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.
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113. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 5
Alan S. Rosenbaum Socialism Versus Liberal Capitalism: Conflict or Compromise in the Works of John Stuart Mill
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Modern Western liberalism is a further development of certain philosophical trends which were emerging in the 19th century. It reflects a particular confluence of utilitarian and natural law doctrines, and of ideological expressions of capitalism and socialism. The writings of J.S. Mill stand as among the earliest and most persuasive efforts to reconcile the often conflicting demands these trends have placed upon their interpreters. This study of Mill’s philosophy explores the "incompatibility" of these conflicts as he strives to deal with them in the articulation of his democratic liberalism. Despite the increasing value that socialism held for him, I argue that Mill never really abandons his liberalist philosophy. His lifelong commitment to individualism and utilitarianism, coupled with his rejection of key socialist principles, is sufficient evidence for my conclusion that Mill's philosophy could never reach true socialism insofar as it retains the fundamental concepts of democratic liberalism.
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114. 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.
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115. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 5
Steven F. Savitt Wittgenstein’s Early Philosophy of Mathematics
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Wittgenstein's remarks in his Tractatus on mathematics are quite obscure. Benacerraf and Putnam wrote, "In his Tractatus Loqico-Philosophicus, Wittgenstein maintained, following Russell and Frege, that mathematics was reducible to logic." On the other hand, Max Black claims, "Wittgenstein does not regard mathematics as reducible to logic, in the manner of Whitehead and Russell." I offer a detailed commentary upon Wittgenstein's remarks, concluding that his views most likely do not follow those of Frege and Russell. I reject a criticism of Wittgenstein presented by Black but find severe shortcomings in the view I take Wittgenstein to be presenting.
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116. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 5
Robert Hahn ΣΥΝΑΓΩΓΗ and the Problem of to ΠΕΡΑΣ in Philebus 25CB-E5
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The passage which occurs in Plato's Philebus 25C8-E2 examines the relation between three of four classes of Being which are introduced at 23C. Problems with the text and explication of the passage are considered. Ibis paper attempts to illuminate two central issues of the later dialogues on which the interpretation of this passage rests, the significance of πέρς or the limiting class of Being, and the overall operation of συναγωγή or collection, characterizing the method of diairesis, the foundation of the later dialectic.This paper argues for the need to emend the text to read συμμισγομένων (or even συγγιγνομένων) since this is the significance required by the context; to take the referrent of έϗείνη to be πέρατος γέννα; and to understand άπείρου γέννα and πέρατος γέννα as the referrents of τούτων άμκροτέων.
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117. 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.
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118. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 5
Michael Corrado The Logic of Intentional Action
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Five purposive relations are investigated: endeavoring, endeavoring for a certain purpose, bringing something about in a certain endeavor, bringing something about for a certain purpose, and bringing something about intentionally. No satisfactory analysis of these terms has yet been proposed, either in mentalistic -- belief, desire, intending -- or in action terms. While bringing something about for a certain purpose may seem too obscure to be taken as a primitive, there are at least two arguments in favor of it. First, no analyses in terms of other primitives has worked; second, the rather natural definitions of the other notions which it makes possible take us some way toward understanding the structure of intentional action.
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119. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 5
Arthur R. Miller Publicity and Civil Disobedience
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This paper is a critical discussion of Robert T. Hall's recent attempt to construct a "minimal" definition of 'civil disobedience.' It is shown that the analysis, if applied consistently, results in a definition which is too minimal in including far too much under the rubric of 'civil disobedience.’ Furthermore, it is argued that Hall himself is not consistent in his treatment, the result being a definition which is too restrictive insofar as it excludes certain clear cases of civilly disobedient action. It is shown that the inadequacies in Hall's minimal definition stem from an underlying confusion in his understanding of civil disobedience, the nature of which is indicated by examining his treatment of one of the features commonly held to be essential to acts of civil disobedience, namely, the publicity attending their performance. Finally, my argument is intended to demonstrate that any proposed definition of 'civil disobedience' which does not include reference to a publicity condition is bound to fail to do the job required of it.
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120. 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.
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