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81. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 11
John Kilcullen Bayle on the Rights of Conscience
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This is a critical study of the arguments of Pierre Bayle’s Commentaire philosophique by which he tries to show that someone whose conscience is in error has a moral right (of a limited kind) to do what it commands, and that the act may be morally good; and that others, such as the government, may nevertheless have the right, and a duty, to prevent the act by force.
82. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 11
Lawrence R. Carleton Levels in Description and Explanation
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Various authors insist that some body of natural phenomena are legitimately describable or explainable only on one level of description, and would disqualify any description not confined to that level. None offers an acceptable definition explicitly. I extract such a definition I find implicit in the work of two such authors, J.J. Gibson and Hubert Dreyfus, and modify the result to render it more defensible philosophically. I also criticize the definition Shaw and Turvey offer, demonstrate some applications of my definition, and try to forestall certain misunderstandings of those presuppositions and that definition.
83. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 11
Theodore W. Schick, Jr. In Defense of the Correspondence Theory
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The correspondence theory of truth has often been attacked on the grounds that the notion of correspondence is too vague to do any serious philosophical work. More recently it has been attacked on the grounds that the sort of correspondence required by the theory does not exist.I argue, on the contrary, that there are no compelling reasons for believing that the requisite sort of correspondence does not exist and that the notion of correspondence can be made clear enough to yield an adequate theory of truth. After critically examining Tarkski’s theory of truth, Ishow how a correspondence theory which applies to the statements of any language can be constructed. Then Davidson’s claim that all true statements correspond to the same thing and Putnam’s claim that there is no fact of the matter concerning what the terms of a language correspond to are shown to be untenable.
84. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 11
Joan C. Callahan The Silent Scream: A New, Conclusive Case Against Abortion?
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The Silent Scream, a videotape which includes footage of a real time sonogram of an abortion in progress, has been receiving considerable attention in America as the anti-abortion movement’s latest argument. The tape has been enthusiastically endorsed by President Reagan and has been distributed to every member of Congress and to each of the Supreme Court justices. It is produced and narrated by Bernard N. Nathanson, a practicing obstetrician and gynecologist, and it includes a number of implicit and explicit claims which are highly controversial. Chief among these are: (1) the claim that since we can draw no morally significant line during the stages of fetal development, the fetusmust be recognized as a person from conception onward, (2) the claim that the film is a high tech, state of the art proof that abortion is the brutal murder of an innocent human being, (3) the claim that in abortion the fetus experiences terror and pain, and (4) the claim that as long as abortion is legal, showing this film (or one relevantly similar) must be made part of the informed consent procedure for abortion. My purpose in this paper is to examine these claims to see if The Silent Scream adds anything to the moral case for making abortion illegal. I give particular attention to two claims which are seldom addressed in the abortion debate, viz., that the fetus experiences terror and pain during an abortion, and that women have not had the information they need (but which this film provides) to give an adequately informed consent to abortion. Since there is so much confusion in the abortion debate, and since this film trades on that confusion, my broader purpose is to add some clarificationto the public discussion of this issue, which is daily becoming a more divisive issue of public policy.
85. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 11
Peter Nicholls, Dan Passell Kripke’s Contingent A Priori and Necessary A Posteriori
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We think that Kripke’s arguments that there are contingent a priori truths and that there are necessary a posteriori truths about named and essentially described entities fail. They fail for the reasons that there are ambiguities in each of the three eases. In the first ease, what is known apriori is not what is contingent. In the latter two cases, what is necessary or essential is not what is known a posteriori.
86. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 11
Timo Airaksinen Absolutely Certain Beliefs: Odegard, Rescher and Klein
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This paper presents a critical review and discussion of three recent major theories of epistemic scepticism. Odegard and Rescher both agree that real knowledge entails certain beliefs. But they both fail to see how beliefs could be absolutely certain. Klein’s book, Certainty: A Refutationof Scepticism, presents the strongest possible view in favor of absolute certainty. I pay attention to its technical details and development by Klein. My conclusion is that Klein’s theory rests on some presupposed ideas that are either counterintuitive or then make the theory trivial: one’s certainty of truth becomes the same as the truth itself.
87. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 11
Fay Horton Sawyier Philosophy as Autobiography: John Stuart Mill’s Case
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I consider the general question of whether a study of the life of a philosopher can help us to understand his/her philosophical principles. This topic is narrowed to the consideration of principles of moral and political philosophy, especially in instances in which the philosopher deliberately uses the experiences of his/her own life in formulating his/her views. Such use raises the problem of justification of the self as sampIe. As part of my general defense of the merits of studying a life to grasp a philosophy, I argue that the meaning of a principle in the philosophy of X can be illuminated by trying to recognize what that principIe meant to X. All of these general issues are deployed in my study of the philosophy of John Stuart Mill. In particular I focus on five points, the understanding of which I feel is deepened by studying how they involved his own life. These five are: a change in tone in ch. III of On Liberty, his conviction about free will, his commitment to a principle of vigorous action, his principle of balanced growth, and his fundamental axiom of Individualism.
88. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 11
Larry A. Alexander Fair Equality of Opportunity: John Rawls’ (Best) Forgotten Principle
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Although discussions of John Rawls’ A Theory of Justice generally refer to Rawls’ two principles of justice, and although Rawls himself labels his principles “the two principles of justice”, Rawls actually sets forth three distinct principles in the following lexical order: the liberty principle, the fair equality of opportunity principle, and the difference principle. Rawls argues at some length for the priority of the liberty principle over the other two. On the other hand, Rawls offers hardly any argument at all for the priority of the fair equality of opportunity principle over the difference principle. In this article I will argue that making the fair equality of opportunity principle separate from and lexically prior to the difference principle is both intuitively unattractive and inconsistent with Rawls’ method of deriving principles of justice from the choices of rational contractors in the original position.
89. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 11
Harold H. Kuester The Dependence of Stephen Toulmin’s Epistemology on a Description/Prescription Dichotomy
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Toulmin is one of the three or four best-known philosophers of science who, beginning in the late 1950’s, attempted a thoroughgoing criticism of logical positivism (the philosophy of science which predominated at that time). The paper argues that Toulmin depends upon the same sort oftheory-observation dichotomy which resulted in many of the difficulties which bedeviled logical positivism. Thus Toulmin’s criticism is neither as radical nor as trouble-free as many suppose.
90. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 11
Daniel Shaw Absurdity and Suicide: A Reexamination
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Camus’ central thesis in The Myth of Sisyphus is that suicide is not the proper response to, nor is it the solution of, the problem of absurdity. Yet many of his literary protagonists either commit suicide or are self-destructive in other ways. I argue that the protagonists that best live up to the characteristics of the absurd man that Camus outlines in the Myth uniformly either commit suicide or consent to their destruction by behaving in such a manner as to invite death. It is my contention that this raises serious questions abuut the validity of Camus’ arguments that suicide is not the proper response to the recognition that life is absurd.
91. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 11
Douglas Low The Existential Dialectic of Marx and Merleau-Ponty
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Our work represents the culmination of a study that is a search for a method. It is a search that has led us away from the remnants of Cartesianism that are found in Sartre’s Critique of Dialectical Reason, which we do not deal with here, and toward a comparative study of Karl Marx and Maurice Merleau-Ponty, which we do take up in detail. The present manuscript argues, in fact, that both Marx and Merleau-Ponty operate with a method that may be called an existential dialectic.By means of careful and extended analysis of The Structure of Behavior we attempt to uncover Merleau-Ponty’s method, calling special attention to its sometimes ignored dialectical character. We then proceed to argue that Marx is operating with a type of phenomenological/existential method, and this is true not only of the young Marx but also of the mature Marx of the Grundrisse and Capital. Finally, with the assistance of Lukacs’ History and Class Consciousness, we point up the dialectical character of Marx’s method. Thus, it is by uncovering this approach in the text of each of these thinkers and by comparing the method of each man with that of the other that we show that both Marx and Merleau-Pontyoperate with an existential dialectical method.This in depth methodological comparison of Marx and Merleau-Ponty represents the first study of its kind. It is hoped that “The Existential Dialectic of Marx and Merleau-Ponty” will contribute to the on-going and important dialogue between Marxists and existentialists.
92. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 11
Frank G. Verges On Having Your Marx and Deconstructing Him Too
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In this paper I examine some logical features of Marxist/Christian compatibilist projects. I use Arthur McGovern’s Marxism: An American Christian Perspective as my chief stalking horse. As an heuristic device, I distinguish the views in Marx’s early writings (Marxist humanism--M-I)from the more mature theory of historical materialism (M-2), where the latter is construed primarily as a social scientific method for the explanation of historical change. I also distinguish C-1, the moral teachings of Jesus, from C-2, Christian theology. I argue that the logic of Christian compatibilism requires the acceptance of C-1, C-2, and M-2, while it must reject or downplay M-l, Marxist humanism. Similarly, the logic of a Marxist compatibilism requires the acceptance of M-1, M-2, end C-1, while it must reject C-2, Christian theology. I conclude that, while Christian and Marxist compatibilists can work together in seeking to overcome capitalism and imperialism, it is more difficult to see how thedisagreements over Marxist humanism vs. Christian theology could ever be transcended.
93. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 11 > Issue: Supplement
Richard A. Talaska The Emergence of the Early Modern Concept of System
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This study is meant to provide a means of understanding the change of philosophic perspective from the naive classical view that natures manifest themselves to mind to the modern view that they do so only as mediated by thought or speech. It does so by tracing the emergence of the early modern concept that philosophy must be presented as a system of propositions or laws in order to be scientific. It is argued that certain early moderns adopted the term system from the Stoic definition of art, and that they clearly delineated the essential characteristics of systematicity but spoke only of systems of individual sciences. Régis first applied the term to philosophy as a whole, but Hobbes before him conceived of system in Régis's sense. The conclusion is a more precise understanding of the origin of the modern use of the term and of the meaning of the early modern concept of philosophic system.
94. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 12
Rod Bertolet Referring, Demonstrating, and Intending
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Demonstratives have been thought to provide counterexamples to theories which analyze the notion of speaker reference in terms of the intentions of the speaker. This paper is a response to three attempts to undermine my efforts to defend such theories against these putative counterexamples. It is argued that the efforts of Howard Wettstein, M. J. More and John L. Biro to show that my own attempt to defuse the putative counterexamples offered by David Kaplan fails, are themselves unsuccessful. The competing view of demonstration which I endorse is clarified further by the discussion.
95. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 12
Adam Thompson Counterexamples to Nozick’s Account of Transmission of Knowledge via Proof
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This paper reveals and corrects a flaw in Nozick’s account of knowledge via inference. First, two counterexamples are provided by considering cases which would not typically be regarded as instances of knowledge although they are counted as such by Nozick’s theory. Then the general form of these counterexamples is given. From this it is apparent that the counterexamples show that Nozick’s theory fails to take account of cases in which the subject infers q from p, but in counterfactual situations some proposition other than p would entail q. In view of this, the theory is then revised to eliminate the counterexamples.
96. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 12
William E. Murnion The Logic of Learning
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A constructive analysis of reasoning as a self-corrective process of learning in which a dialectic between inquiry and anomaly, between intuition and inference, between analysis and synthesis, between induction and deduction, gradually produces a virtually unconditioned but always corrigible solution to a problem. The argument is both a synthesis of contributions from classical and modern philosophers to the interpretation of learning and an attempt to bridge the gap between critical thinking and formal logic in the analysis of reasoning. The aim is to show that learning as well as demonstration has a logic susceptible to philosophical analysis.
97. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 12
Herman Philipse The Concept of Intentionality: Husserl’s Development from the Brentano Period to the Logical Investigations
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In this paper an attempt is made to reconstruct the development of Husserl’s conception of intentionality from 1891 up to 1900/01. It is argued that Husserl’s concept of intentionality in the Logical Investigations took shape under the influence of problems originating in two different fields: the philosophy of perception and philosophical semantics. This multiple origin of the concept of intentionality of 1900/01 is then adduced as an explanation of tensions within the text of the Investigations, tensions whieh account for the fact that various contradictory interpretations of Husserl’s concept of intentionality are supported by the texts.The paper starts with a brief and schematic interpretation of Brentano’s Psychology from an Empirical Standpoint. Next, the theory of perception of the ‘Psychological Studies for Elementary Logic’ is compared with that contained in the Investigation’s.On the basis of an analysis of Husserl’s early theory of reference to non-existing referents (‘Intentional Objects’, 1894) and of his criticism of Twardowski, it is concluded that his concept of int.entionality of 1900/01 is not free from ambiguities: Husserl wavers between a non-relational and a relational concept. Finally, it is shown why Husserl’s “official” concept in the Investigations was the non-relational version.
98. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 12
William M. O’Meara The Social Nature of Self and Morality for Husserl, Schutz, Marx, and Mead
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The purpose of the paper is, first, to describe how Husserl’s phenomenology begins with the transcendental ego and attempts to affirm by necessary insight the alter ego and the moral community of all rational beings, and, secondly, to evaluate this argument, using the thought of Schutz, Marx, and Mead. The paper concludes that Husserl’s and Schutz’s concepts of the social nature of the self are inadequate and that Marx and Mead offer a better analysis of how the social nature of the self leads to the universal moral community.
99. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 12
Robert Rethy The Metaphysics of Nullity
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The place of Schopenhauer’s philosophy in the history of contemporary thought and in that of the problematic of nihilism has been relatively unexplored, despite its well-known relation to Nietzsche and Wittgenstein, two of the dominant figures of contemporary philosophy and culture. “The Metaphysics of Nullity”, after an introductory section on the connection of German idealism and nihilism, examines Schopenhauer’s philosophy, and particularly its principle of “self-negation of the will”, as a nihilistic metaphysics that is an outgrowth of traditional conceptions of desire and consciousness which becomes involved in the classical difficulties of self-reflection and self-manifestation. The incoherencies that beset Schopenhauer’s thought are fully examined and their implications are discussed.
100. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 12
James Bogen, J. E. McGuire Aristotle’s Great Clock: Necessity, Possibility and the Motion of the Cosmos in De Caelo I.12
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This paper offers a detailed account of arguments in De Caelo I by which Aristotle tried to demonstrate the necessity of the perpetual existence and the perpetual rotation of the cosmos. On our interpretation, Aristotle’s arguments are naturalistic. Instead of being based (as many have thought) on rules of logic and language, they depend, we argue, on natural science theories about abilities (δυνάμεις), e.g., to move and to change, which things have by nature and about the conditions under which these abilities can be exercised. Our interpretation locates the De Caelo arguments in the context of some central doctrines of the Organon, the Metaphysics, the Physics, and other texts. The De Caelo arguments fit a number of views developed in these texts. Aristotle’s treatments of local motion, of natural motion and change, of necessity and possibility, and of abilities and their exercises are examples. But, as we interpret them, the De Caelo arguments raise serious questions about the role of (and the need for) Metaphysics A’s soulful Unmoved Mover in Aristotle’s overall natural-scientific picture.