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41. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 2
Paul Weiss Substance and Process, Today and Tomorrow
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This monograph is divided into four parts: 1. AMERICAN PHILOSOPHY: Unlike the philosophies of other countries today, it does not pivot about a particular authoritative university or school. Most positions, though, agree in acknowledging a plurality of irreducible ultimate principles and realities. 2. PROCESS PHILOSOPHY: This has been of primary interest to theologians, and is occupied mainly with pointing up differences with Thomism. The strength and weaknesses of both these positions is outlined, and alternative views indicated. 3. THE MODAL PHILOSOPHY: A summary account is given, justifying and describing five irreducible, conditioning realities which govern individual substances, severally and together. 4. QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS: These have mainly to do with the problem of the One and the Many, raised by the audience. Each finality, it is held, is a One for the Many actualities; each actuality is a One for the Many finalities.
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42. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 2
Douglas N. Walton Intensional Action Theory
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The aims of this paper are to survey, explicate, compare, contrast, and critically evaluate a number of (mainly recent and technical) contributions (Kanger, Porn and Áqvist) to the logic of action locutions in connection with their treatment of the concept of an agent's bringing about a state of affairs. The discussion is primarily concerned with practical applications of these formalisms for the action theorist. It is suggested that these systems are best understood as capturing a strategic sense of bringing-about, and not a notion of actual bringing-about, which is merely presupposed by them. It is argued that the developments surveyed open up a new 'intensional' style of action theory, contrasted with the 'extensional' approach of Davidson. Yet because of the treatment of conditionals, they fail to capture a basic notion of 'bringing about' important for action theory. It is concluded that a study of the behavior of 'bringing-about' over non-standard conditionals would be a useful next step for intensional action logic.
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43. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 2
Bill Barger Sartre on 'Original Choice'
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The vicissitudes of the concept of original choice illustrate the change, and yet the continuity, of Sartre's existentialist thought as he gradually changed the focus of his attentions from psychological to sociological aspects of "the human condition." The relationship of the doctrine to Sartre's own "existential psychoanalysis" is described. The point at which Sartre explicitly repudiated the earlier doctrine of original choice and the general characteristics of his revised doctrine are explicated. In general, Sartre's current position is that the goal- directed structure of human endeavor is a freely-created variation upon the conditioning imposed by society, aiming at liberation from such external determinism. Sartre continues to reject the notion of a causal determinism, psychological or social, which makes the person a product—a "thing"—and which reduces human freedom to the status of illusion.
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44. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 2
Arthur W. Cragg Values and Actions: A Critique of Prescriptivism
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Providing an accurate account of the relation of moral values to actions is a major objective of moral philosophy. One reason for the attractiveness of prescriptivism is that it appears to do just this. The article is designed to determine whether prescriptivism does succeed in this respect. After extended argument, I conclude that the prescriptivist account of the relation of values to actions rules out the possibility that one's actions might be inconsistent with one's moral beliefs. This view leads in turn to the position that it is impossible on logical grounds for one to lie about one's moral beliefs, an implication which I argue is untenable. It follows that a central feature of the prescriptivist account of moral language is faulty.
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45. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 2
Dennis E. Bradford A Bibliography on the Topic of Existence
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This is a bibliography on the philosophical topic of existence or being. Nearly all the works listed are in English, and most of them are works that have been published in this century. Many of the works listed also deal with other, but closely related, topics: e.g., identity, truth, essence, substance, predication, intentional objects, properties and relations, reference, quantification, and the ontological argument for the existence of God.
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46. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 2
James R. Greenwell A Probabilistic Justification for Abortion
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There appear to be two major areas of uncertainty in the abortion dispute, namely the status of the fetus with respect to personhood and the validity of the doctrine of the double effect, or which of several moral principles takes priority in cases of conflict. This paper attempts to show that one can accept the uncertainty on these issues and yet reach a plausible view on the morality of abortion. This is done by consideration of the various possible combinations of controversial factors and which combinations indicate abortion to be right and which wrong. Probabilities of rightness and wrongness are then generated for several kinds of cases where abortion is usually desired. The conclusion of the paper is that in the absence of certainty in the basic issues, we can make a decision on the strength of the probabilities, in which case abortion is justified in those cases where it has usually been requested.
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47. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 2
Mary B. Mahowald On Humans and Butterflies: A Response to Becker
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This article responds to a recent proposal for determining where human life begins on the basis of histological and morphological development of the organism. After examining possible interpretations of the term "human" and relations between "human life," "human being" and "human becoming," I argue that metamorphosis is not a fit analogue for human development. On biological grounds the proposed "metamorphic definition" of "human being" is judged unacceptable.Alternative proposals are then considered, viz., conception, quickening, viability, live birth and personhood. Prom a non- biological standpoint, only the last survives as a candidate for a human being/human becoming boundary. However, every developmental event, including histological and morphological completion of the organism, remains pertinent to moral discourse and decisions concerning human life.
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48. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 2
Philip J. Neujahr Subjectivity
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In this article I attempt to sketch a Kantian view of personal identity. Making use of Kant's distinction between perception and conception as necessary components of experience, I argue that experience requires the existence over time of a subject, and that this persisting subject is a condition of experience and hence is transcen- dentally distinct from any object of experience, including the subject's body. This also implies that consciousness, or the appearance of the world to the subject, cannot identified with a brain process or any other object, and thus that central state materialism must be false. The view of subjectivity which emerges from this analysis bears some resemblance, I believe, to Kant's doctrine of the transcendental self. After this very abstract analysis I present a thought-experiment which attempts to illustrate the difference between subjectivity and any objective fact, and to show more clearly the status of the subject as a necessary condition of experience.
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49. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 2
Willis Doney Some Recent Work on Descartes: A Bibliography
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In Descartes; A Collection of Critical Essays (Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1967), I published a bibliography of works in English relating to Descartes. This is a Supplement to that bibliography and contains references to works in English that have appeared since 1966 through 1975 or that inadvertently were not included in the original bibliography. The Supplement is in three parts: (A) Translations and Reference Works, (B) Books, and (C) Articles. In (C), I have also included chapters of books that can be read independently and that may be of interest to students of Descartes. There were of course borderline cases in which I had to decide whether an article contained enough material about Descartes to be included in the bibliography. On the whole, I believe I have followed a rather liberal policy in making these decisions.
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50. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 2
Carl F. Cranor Respect for the Law: An Evaluation
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The aim of this paper is to try to clarify the nature and justification of respect for the law. In section I, I try to clarify the nature of respect for a legal system and distinguish it from related concepts. In the next section, I consider problems justifying the attitude of respect toward a legal system. In section III, I discuss the extent to which one has duties to behave respectfully toward and to try to adopt an attitude of respect toward a reasonably just legal system. One consequence is that it is difficult to show that one has a duty to obey the law because it is respect-worthy. In the last section, I sketch further consequences of preceding sections and suggest that respect for the law properly understood is neither the boon of oppression nor the bane of conscientious moral agents.
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51. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 2
H. A. Nielsen Some Wrinkles in the Religious Uses of 'To Believe'
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The Kantian logic of science has shaped much of the critical-historical tradition of scripture analysis, partly by canonizing a specific set of limits defining the possible and, correspondingly, limits to what a human being may defensibly believe in the way of historical reports. Residual inexplicable incidents are regarded as mythical or unhistorical in that tradition. However, by training a Wittgensteinian lens on certain religious applications of the verb 'to believe' we can begin to notice a rainbow of diverse and finely shaded uses, none of them privileged. The fact that some of these make no connection with the canonical sense of 'to believe' puts in serious question the recent tendency to employ the category 'myth' in scripture scholarship.
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52. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 2
George Ellard The Language of Politics
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This paper deals with Marx's claim that he has presented a scientific or non-ideological account of social problems. Having explained what an ideology is for Marx, I criticize those of his followers who view possible understandings of the world as self- inclosed language games which can offer no justification for their validity except by appealing to the rules of the particular language game in question. To show that Marx would be dissatisfied with the relativism implicit in the more contemporary position, I compare his analysis of history to Hegel's Phenomenology and argue that the latter work is useful in understanding why one particular mode of thought is seen as non-perspectival or scientific.
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53. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 2
John R. Catan, Giovanni Reale Aristotle, the Immobile Mover: Translation, Introduction, and Commentary
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This is a translation of II Motore Immobile (Metafisica, libro XII), Traduzione intégrale, introduzione e commento by Giovanni Reale (Editrice La Scuola, Brescia, 4th Ed. 1971)- The author offers a unitary reading of the famous twelfth book of Aristotle's Metaphysics. The book is intended for students who wish to read the text itself of Aristotle’s, so that the introduction and commentary to the text and the summaries of the entire Metaphysics as well as the twelfth book gives the student ample material to read the text intelligently. The work is aware of the current state of Aristotelian studies but does not intrude them into the commentary, because they should be reserved for more specialized work which the author has completed.
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54. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 2
Elizabeth Smith Ultimate Principles
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The purpose of this paper is to consider the frequently held view that since obligation is a rule-dependent concept it can be explicated by reference to rules. H.L.A. Hart's attempt to explicate the normative character of a legal system in terms of rules is examined and it is shown that (A) the notion that obligation is rule-dependent necessitates that there be an ultimate rule in the legal system, that (B) if obligation is rule-dependent and there is an ultimate rule in the legal system it is mysterious, indeed unintelligible how rules themselves can oblige and (C) the attempt to capture the normative character if the legal system fails. The appeal of this analysis of obligation is traced to the tempting but ill-founded supposition that rationality always consists in applying a general rule to a specific case.
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55. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 2
Richard A. O'Neil On Rawls' Justification Procedure
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The paper is a defense of the moral methodology of John Rawls against criticisms by R.M. Hare and Peter Singer. Rawls is accused of intuitionism and subjectivism by Hare and of subjectivism and relativism by Singer, I argue that Rawls does not rely on intuitions as such, but on judgments on which there is a consensus. This does not commit Rawls to subjectivism for what is required for objectivity in ethics as in science is simply a rational justification procedure for principles, which Rawls provides. Moreover, an appeal to a moral consensus at some point is inescapable. Finally, concerning the charge of relativism, I point out that Rawls includes in his justification procedure only those judgments on which there is a consensus among competent judges. Though there is the possibility that conflicting sets of judgments may be equally valid for different societies in the unlikely case that there is nothing invariant in the judgments of competent judges, this is a relativism we can accept.
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56. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 2
David L. Rouse Marx's Materialist Concept of Democracy
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Marx called his philosophical position a materialism; he was concerned, however, with social life, not with matter as the ultimate constituent of the universe. His materialism is a thesis about the relation between the forms which social life takes and the content which constitutes that life. Traditional materialisms are unable to address themselves to the particular concerns of Marx. Consequently, an alternative source must be found in order to explicate his materialism. Using Aristotle’s distinction between form and matter from the central books of the Metaphysics, I show how Marx’s materialism is a corrective to the formal determinism of Hegel.
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57. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 2
Richard A. Hogan Soul in the Charmides: An Examination of T. M. Robinson's Interpretation
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T.M. Robinson, in Plato's Psychology, concludes that an examination of the Charmides shows that soul is (1) a cognitive principle, (2) a moral principle, (3) to be equated, together with the body, with the self or person, (4) related to the body by "mutual entailment." I argue that (4) is not implied by the text and that Robinson's interpretation rests upon illegitimately pressing an analogy presented therein, and that even if the analogy could be pressed, that Robinson's view (which seems to embody a confusion over the nature of 'entailment') would still not be defensible, I argue further that (3) depends upon an unjustifiable equation of 'self' with 'whole man.' I accept (and present additional evidence for) (1) and (2) as true of soul in the sense I take to be implied by the text. But the evidence for (1) and (2) further damages Robinson's claims (3) and (4).
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58. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 2
James W. Lamb Basic Actions and Doing Actions Basically
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Writers on action theory have said much about the notion of basic action but little about that of doing an action basically. In my paper I set forth a definition of basic action, then argue that neither it nor the definitions of various other philosophers captures the distinct notion of doing an action basically, and finally propose a definition of this latter notion.
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59. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 2
Steven Lee A Confusion in Popper's Philosophy of Social Science
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This paper argues that there is a confusion or inconsistency in Popper's claiming both that the social sciences should adopt the principle of methodological individualism and that they should maintain a unity of method with the natural sciences. Conjointly with the argument and in an appendix, a survey of Popper's philosophy of social science is presented. First, Popper's individualism is given an exegesis and elaboration, being characterized by me as 'the autonomy position'. Second, suggesting unity of method requires minimally the general application of the principle of faisIflability, I show the failure of two arguments apparently suggested by Popper that falslflability entails individualism. To fill the lacuna I then propose other arguments for individualism Popper may have had in mind. But finally, I show the inconsistency by arguing that individualism must on Popper's own assumptions be regarded as an empirical rather than a metaphysical position, thus rendering its stipulation by Popper as methodological incompatible with the application of falslflability.
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60. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 2
Kenneth W. Rankin The Trinitarian Vision of P. F. Strawson
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Along with more frequently discussed theses, Strawson in his Chapter on Persons has maintained that the perceptual experience of the same subject could be causally dependent upon a multiplicity of bodies. But (1), without drastic revision, his effort to show in illustration that the visual experience of one subject might causally depend upon three different bodies is too fraught with difficulty to lend coherent support. (2) When the difficulties are removed by revision, the truth of the thesis depends upon the truth of a particularly implausible variety of dualistic representa- tionalism. (3) Constructive measures are required to ensure its consistency with Strawson's more salient claim 'that a necessary condition of states of consciousness being ascribed at all is that they should be ascribed to the very same things as certain corporeal characteristics'. (4) The thesis is inconsistent with Strawson's defense of the possibility of Group Persons.
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