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41. 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.
42. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 4
Jean-Marie Breuvart Transposition et Proposition dans la Philosophie d'A.N. Whitehead
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L'article veut être une interrogation sur le conceptualisme de Whitehead, partant des notions de proposition et de transposition. La démarche est celle d’une confrontation entre la conception whiteheadienne de la proposition et quelques données de la linguistique . Après avoir situé la philosophie whiteheadienne comme un conceptualisme, l’auteur analyse les liens existant entre la conception whiteheadienne de la proposition et les structures élémentaires du discours.Il en tire alors la conclusion que cette conception, reposant sur la distinction entre le physique et le conceptuel, reniroie à un proto-discours, renforce ainsi le conceptualisme whiteheadien et légitime par là-même la pratique de la transposition dans l’ensemble de la philosophie de Whitehead. L’auteur pose enfin quelques questions sur les autres voies possibles que celle du conceptualisme.
43. 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.
44. 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.
45. 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.
46. 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.
47. 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).
48. 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.
49. 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.
50. 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.
51. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 4
J. N. Kaufman La Conception Meta-Historique dans la Theorie Structurelle-Fonctionnelle de l'Action de Talcott Parsons
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The paper examines some implications of Parsonian theory of social change for the philosophy of history. A distinction is made between two concepts of social change, the first concerning transformations within a stable structure, the second concerning transformations of the structure (metamorphose). The principal meta-histori cal postulates underlying the functional analysis of social change are then formulated. They imply a twofold conception of the meaning of history : objective meaning as a functional property of a teleological system, subjective meaning as an intentional correlate of the individual actors. This irreducible duality of system theory and action theory characterizes the whole Parsonian approach to the theory and history of societies.
52. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 1
James L. Hudson Frege's Way Out
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I show that Frege's statement (In the Epilogue to his Grundgesetze der Arithmetic v. II) of a way to avoid Russell's paradox is defective, in that he presents two different methods as if they were one. One of these "ways out" is notably more plausible than the other, and is almost surely what Frege really intended. The well-known arguments of Lesniewski, Geach, and Quine that Frege's revision of his system is inadequate to avoid paradox are not affected by the ambiguity of Frede's statement. But a rectnt argument by Linsky and Schumm (Analysis 82 (1971-72), 5-7), intended as a very simple derivation of a contradiction within Frege's revised system, is valid only for the less plausible of the two versions of Frege's way out, and thus is not an effective attack on the revision that Frege intended to make.
53. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 1
L. Duane Willard Intrinsic Value in Dewey
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It is widely believed that John Dewey completely rejected intrinsic value. The objective of the paper is to show this belief mistaken. Several different concepts of intrinsic value have been offered by philosophers. I argue that while Dewey rejected much in these various concepts, a careful examination of his writings reveals that he still retained the view that at least some things may be worth having, doing, enjoying for their own sakes. Perhaps the major point established is that Dewey's doctrine of the means-ends continuum does not deny the possibility of intrinsic value as he conceives it. This is shown by calling attention to his discussions of ends incorporating means and of conmummatory experiences.
54. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 1
John B. Fisher The Concept of Structure in Freud, Levi Strauss, and Chomsky
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In this paper I attempt to help clarify the nature of structuralism as a philosophical approach by examining the way in which Freud, Lévi-Strauss and Chomsky use the concept of structure. I argue that in each of these thinkers there is an important tension between their attempts to develop, on the one hand, a theory within the framework of determinism and, on the other, to emphasize the meaningfulness of certain aspects of human behavior. I suggest that the ability of the term "structure" to refer either to a universal or a particular helps the two sides of their thinking from coming into conflict with one another, and that this is a magor reason why these figures were attracted to a structural approach.
55. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 1
Robert C. Schultz Sidgwick on Proof in Ethics
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The objective of the paper is to provide a critical exposition of Henry Sidgwick's theory of "proof" in ethics, by means of a restatement and a critique of relevant sections of Book IV of The Methods of Ethics and an article in the 1879 volume of Mind. It is concluded that Sidgwick's thought contains two fundamental unresolved tensions. One of these relates to whether "proof" is to be treated as a normative or an empirical matter. On the one hand, Sidgwick clearly wants to offer a ground for ethics whose epistemic force would be universal; on the other, he accepts Mill's "considerations determining the mind to accept" as a definition. The second unresolved tension relates to the question whether abstract transcendent axioms or the familiar rules of common sense morality constitute the ultimate court of appeal in ethical decisionmaking.
56. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 1
John A. Schumaker Knowing Entails Believing
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Recently Colin Radford attempted to show primarily by examples that the entailment thesis that knowing entails believing is false. Both D. M. Armstrong and Keith Lehrer replied by suggesting, in effect, that Radford cannot justify his failure to consider unconscious belief. Here I show that neither Armstrong nor Lehrer succeeded in refuting Radford. But my exploration of their suggestion about unconscious belief leads to a complete reconstruction of Armstrong's principal example in terms of belief-constituting abilities. This reconstruction not only provides grounds for defending the entailment thesis, but also renders the thesis immune to Radford's examples and arguments.
57. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 1
Norman Melchert Hume's Appendix on Personal Identity
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The reasons why Hume expressed dissatisfaction concerning his own account of personal identity in the Treatise are unclear. Hume himself states them obscurely, and commentators have disagreed about what exactly it was that puzzled him. I offer reasons for thinking the sources of Hume’s retraction have not yet been understood, and propose a reading of the text of the Appendix which explains why he was dissatisfied.The key to the proper understanding of this text lies in two insufficiently appreciated facts: (1) that, for Hume, thoughts are perceptions too, and (2) that the unifying of perceptions can only be done by a perception of a higher level.
58. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 1
Robert W. Loftin Some Logical Problems in Arthur Danto's Account of Explanation
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In this paper we examine the theory of historical explanation presented by Arthur Danto in his book, Analytical Philosophy of History (1965).Our thesis is that Danto is mistaken in his assertion that a phenomenon can be covered by a general law only insofar as we produce a description of it which contains no uneliminable particular designations of it. It is possible to cover such particular statements with general laws provided one can bridge the logical gap between the two types of sentence with other statements which need not be redescriptions of the phenomenon but can be independently established premises for a deductive argument.We further show that some of the analogies which Danto attempts to make between deduction and narrative are mistaken because of errors in Danto's understanding of logical theory, specifically, Danto's notion that no predicate may appear in the conclusion of a deductive argument which is not antecedently contained in the premises and his claim that the same variable must be replaced by the same constants throughout an argument.
59. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 1
Richard Kraut The Importance of Love in Aristotle's Ethics
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My aim is to show how Aristotle's theory of friendship supports his thesis that happiness requires virtuous activity. Ethical behavior is valuable, according to the Nicomachean Ethics, not solely because it uses reason (the immoral can use reason too), but also because it is the expression of a loving attitude towards other persons. By emphasizing this aspect of virtuous activity, I defend Aristotle against the charge that his high estimation for pure intellectual activity commits him to an unethical doctrine. I also argue that his theory of love helps explain why he considers the political life second only to the philosophical life.
60. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 1
Henry R. West Comparing Utilitarianisms
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Act Utilitarianism and Rule Utilitarianism, in one formu lation of each, are not extensionally equivalent, that is, they do not require of an agent precisely the same behavior as is shown by Gerald Barnes in "Utilitarianisms”, Ethics 82 (197I) 56-64. As a result each theory passes and sometimes fails different utilitarian tests: the comparative consequences of universal conformity by everyone (distributively) vs. universal conformity by everyone (collectively) Barnes argues that the latter is the appropriate test. I argue that the test which AU passes is the appropriate one, since everyone, collectively, does not make moral choices. Moral choices are made by everyone individually.