dunnettreader + naturalism   53

Rationally Speaking | 166 - Eric Schwitzgebel on "Why you should expect the truth to be crazy"
Some theories violate common sense so wildly that you want to just reject them out of hand. For example, "The United States is conscious," or "The most moral act would be to replace all living beings with an orgasmic blob." On the other hand, many theories in physics that sounded similarly crazy turned out to be very well-supported (think of quantum theory, or relativity). So what role should "common sense" play in evaluating new theories? This episode features a discussion with philosopher Eric Schwitzgebel on his theory of "Crazyism," that we should expect the truth to be at least a little bit crazy.

Eric's Blog: The Splintered Mind

Eric's Paper: "The Crazyist Metaphysics of Mind"

Gustaf Arrhenius's Paper: "An impossibility theorem for welfarist axiologies"

Eric's Pick: "Labyrinths" by Jorge Luis Borges
audio  interview  metaphysics  mind  consciousness  epistemology  materialism  naturalism  folk_psychology  idealism  dualism 
september 2016 by dunnettreader
Eric Schwitzgebel - Crazyist Metaphysics of Mind (2014) Australasian Journal of Philosophy: Vol 92, No 4
Crazyism about X is the view that something it would be crazy to believe must be among the core truths about X. In this essay, I argue that crazyism is true of the metaphysics of mind. A position is ‘crazy’ in the intended sense if it is contrary to common sense and we are not epistemically compelled to believe it. Crazyism can be treated as the conjunction of two sub-theses: (1) that something contrary to common sense must be true and (2) that whatever that true thing is, we are not epistemically compelled to believe it. I defend the first thesis on grounds of the probable incoherence of folk metaphysics, from which it follows that any fully fleshed-out metaphysics will inevitably conflict with some piece of that incoherent story. I defend the second thesis on three grounds: peer disagreement, lack of a compelling method for resolving metaphysical disputes about the mind, and the dubiousness of the general cosmological claims with which metaphysical claims about the mind are entangled. -- Keywords: common sense, consciousness, dualism, idealism, materialism, metaphilosophy, metaphysics, -- downloaded to Tab S2
article  metaphysics  mind  epistemology  folk_psychology  cosmology  dualism  idealism  materialism  consciousness  reductionism  naturalism  downloaded 
september 2016 by dunnettreader
Ilkka Pyysiainen - Religon: From mind to society and back (2012) | Academia.edu
Book chapter - Exploring the cognitive basis of the social sciences and trying to ground the social in the cognitive requires taking an explicit stance on reduction(ism) as discussed in philosophy of science. In social science and the humanities, the question of reductionism has been especially salient in the study of religion. This chapter begins with a philosophical analysis of reduction; after that, two relatively new research programs in the study of religious thought and behavior are discussed: the standard model of the cognitive science of religion and approaches based on gene-culture coevolutionary theories. Finally, the question of reductionism is addressed and the possibility of combining multilevel explanations of religious phenomena is evaluated. -- Downloaded to Tab S2
chapter  Academia.edu  downloaded  cognitive_science  religion  philosophy_of_science  philosophy_of_social_science  level_of_analysis  reductionism  religious_belief  religious_experience  neuroscience  cognition  cognition-social  gene-culture_coevolution  cultural_transmission  cultural_change  sociology_of_religion  naturalism  natural_selection  evolution-social  evolution-as-model  evolution-group_selection 
august 2016 by dunnettreader
Edward Slingerland - What Science Offers the Humanities: Integrating Body and Culture | Cambridge University Press (2008)
What Science Offers the Humanities examines some of the deep problems facing current approaches to the study of culture. It focuses especially on the excesses of postmodernism, but also acknowledges serious problems with postmodernism's harshest critics. In short, Edward Slingerland argues that in order for the humanities to progress, its scholars need to take seriously contributions from the natural sciences—and particular research on human cognition—which demonstrate that any separation of the mind and the body is entirely untenable. The author provides suggestions for how humanists might begin to utilize these scientific discoveries without conceding that science has the last word on morality, religion, art, and literature. Calling into question such deeply entrenched dogmas as the "blank slate" theory of nature, strong social constructivism, and the ideal of disembodied reason, Slingerland replaces the human-sciences divide with a more integrated approach to the study of culture. --
Part I. Exorcising the Ghost in the Machine:
1. The disembodied mind
2. They live among us
3. Pulling the plug
Part II. Embodying Culture:
4. Embodying culture
Part III. Defending Vertical Integration:
5. Defending the empirical
6. Who's afraid of reductionism?
Edward Slingerland, University of British Columbia, Vancouver - taught in the School of Religion and Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at USC.... currently Associate Professor of Asian Studies at the University of British Columbia and is Canada Research Chair in Chinese Thought and Embodied Cognition. His previous books include The Annalects of Confucius and Effortless Action: Wu-wei as Conceptual Metaphor and Spiritual Ideal in Early China, which won the American Academy of Religion's 2003 Best First Book in the History of Religions Award. -- downloaded Intro
books  kindle-available  downloaded  humanities  philosophy_of_social_science  cognition  mind  philosophy_of_religion  human_nature  Chinese_thought  embodied_cognition  naturalism  reductionism  postmodern  two_cultures  constructivism  cultural_history  religious_history  social_theory  sociology_of_knowledge 
june 2016 by dunnettreader
Brian Leiter, review - Christian Emden, "Nietzsche's Naturalism: A Critical Assessment" :: SSRN - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, July 22, 2015
I review and evaluate the intellectual historian Christian Emden's recent book Nietzsche's Naturalism: Philosophy and the Life Sciences in the Nineteenth Century (Cambridge University Press, 2014). Topics addressed include: the meaning of naturalism; the relationship between substantive and methodological versions of naturalism and physicalism and other reductionisms; the role of Kant and NeoKantians like Lange and Helmholtz in Nietzsche's philosophy; the actual role of the life sciences in Nietzsche's naturalism; and what is involved in a naturalistic account of normativity. --PDF File: 12 pgs --- Keywords: Nietzsche, Kant, Lange, naturalism, physicalism -- downloaded pdf to Note
books  reviews  intellectual_history  19thC  German_scholars  Nietzsche  naturalism  materialism-19thC  Kant  neo-Kantian  Lange_FA  biology  Helmholtz  normativity  moral_philosophy  moral_psychology  morality-objective  human_nature  downloaded 
october 2015 by dunnettreader
philosophy bites: Galen Strawson on Panpsychism
Is there something that it is like to be an electron? That sounds implausible. Yet Galen Strawson believes this is the best explanation of how things are. Find out why.

Listen to Galen Strawson on Panpsychism

Listen to an earlier interview with Galen Strawson on the Sense of Self
metaphysics  naturalism  audio  ontology  panpsychic_monism  Strawson_Galen  physicalism 
october 2015 by dunnettreader
Jared P. Friedman and Anthony I. Jack - Mapping cognitive structure onto philosophical debate re problems of consciousness, free will and ethics | Minds Online - Sept 2015 - Session 1 - Social Cognition
Mapping cognitive structure onto the landscape of philosophical debate: An empirical framework with relevance to problems of consciousness, free will and ethics -- Department of Philosophy and Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence, Case Western Reserve University -- There are some seemingly intractable questions that have remained at the heart of philosophical discourse since they were first asked. Is the mind distinct from the brain or are we just physical stuff? Are we autonomous agents or merely at the mercy of the causal and mechanistic laws of nature? When, if ever, is it acceptable to sacrifice one for the greater good of many? That these questions have remained at the heart of philosophy for so long, and that their ‘solutions’ (e.g., monism vs. dualism) seem to be incommensurable with each other, strikes us as enigmatic. Might the intractable nature of these and other appropriately identified problems reflect something peculiar about us rather than something peculiar about the way the world is? (...) This account maintains that the difficulties reconciling markedly different philosophical responses to these three questions arise from an unavoidable tension between two anatomically independent and functionally inhibitory neural networks, both of which are essential to human understanding. This account is motivated by the observation that both philosophers and non-philosophers experience difficulty in reconciling competing responses to these questions. -- downloaded pdf to Note
paper  conference  cognition  antimonies  consciousness  mind-body  neuroscience  determinism  free_will  naturalism  physicalism  reductionism  causation  moral_philosophy  metaethics  intuitions  brain  experimental_philosophy  analytical_philosophy  James_William  monism  dualism  downloaded 
september 2015 by dunnettreader
Emmanuel Bezy, review - Pascale Gillot, L’esprit, figures classiques et contemporaines - Histoire du mind-body problem - La Vie des idées - 10 janvier 2008
Pascale Gillot, L’esprit, figures classiques et contemporaines, Paris, CNRS Editions, 2007, 315 p., 30 euros. -- Si l’esprit et le corps sont des substances séparées et distinctes, comment peuvent-ils agir l’un sur l’autre ? P. Gillot montre dans son ouvrage les différentes réponses que la philosophie de l’esprit a apportées au problème ainsi formulé par Descartes. Mais ces réponses parviennent difficilement, selon elle, à s’affranchir totalement du cartésianisme. -- L’ouvrage de Pascale Gillot peut se lire de deux manières, qui ne sont pas exclusives l’une de l’autre : il constitue à la fois une introduction à la philosophie de l’esprit et une mise en perspective de la philosophie de l’esprit contemporaine, telle qu’elle s’est développée aux Etats-Unis depuis le tournant cognitiviste. Pascale Gillot expose la construction du problème du corps et de l’esprit, puis elle met en évidence les rémanences de cette problématique de William James à Jaegwon Kim. -- downloaded pdf to Note
books  reviews  French_language  intellectual_history  17thC  18thC  20thC  21stC  mind  mind-body  cogito  Cartesian  Descartes  James_William  dualism  cognition  neuroscience  psychology  metaphysics  essence  substance  human_nature  analytical_philosophy  naturalism  reductionism  thinking_matter  downloaded 
july 2015 by dunnettreader
Emmanuel Bezy, review - Jean-Marie Schaeffer, La fin de l’exception humaine (2007) -- Pour une histoire naturelle de l’homme - La Vie des idées - 21 janvier 2008
Gallimard, 2007, 446 p., 21,50 euros. -- Dans son dernier essai, Jean-Marie Schaeffer s’éloigne de ses thèmes habituels de recherche (le langage, la littérature, la fiction, l’esthétique) et propose une réflexion générale sur l’humanité. Il s’agit de dessiner une perspective qui inscrirait cette dernière en continuité avec le vivant. Il présente ce travail comme l’explicitation de l’arrière-plan de ces précédents travaux. L’ambition est de prendre le contre-pied de ce que l’auteur appelle la « Thèse » selon laquelle l’humanité constituerait une exception parmi les vivants. (...) qu’il pense a conduit à une survalorisation des savoirs spéculatifs au détriment des savoirs empiriques. C’est à critiquer cette vision du monde, véritable obstacle au progrès scientifique, et à redonner toute sa légitimité au naturalisme que son ouvrage est consacré. -- downloaded pdf to Note
books  reviews  French_intellectuals  French_language  philosophy  human_nature  metaphysics  imago_dei  animals  reason  speculative_philosoohy  philosophical_anthropology  philosophy_of_language  epistemology-naturalism  lit_crit  aesthetics  philosophy_of_science  mind  cogito  natural_kinds  essence  naturalism  empiricism  biology  evolution  evolutionary_biology  downloaded 
july 2015 by dunnettreader
Brooke Holmes; W. H. Shearin, eds. - Dynamic Reading: Studies in the Reception of Epicureanism - Oxford University Press
(..) examines the reception history of Epicurean philosophy through a series of eleven case studies, (..). Rather than attempting to separate an original Epicureanism from its later readings and misreadings, this collection studies the philosophy together with its subsequent reception, focusing in particular on the ways in which it has provided terms and conceptual tools for defining how we read and respond to texts, artwork, and the world more generally. *--* Introduction, Brooke Holmes and W. H. Shearin -- 1. Haunting Nepos: Atticus and the Performance of Roman Epicurean Death, W. H. Shearin -- 2. Epicurus's Mistresses: Pleasure, Authority, and Gender in the Reception of the Kuriai Doxai in the Second Sophistic, Richard Fletcher -- 3. Reading for Pleasure: Disaster and Digression in the First Renaissance Commentary on Lucretius, Gerard Passannante -- 4. Discourse ex nihilo: Epicurus and Lucretius in 16thC England, Adam Rzepka -- 5. Engendering Modernity: Epicurean Women from Lucretius to Rousseau, Natania Meeker -- 6. Oscillate and Reflect: La Mettrie, Materialist Physiology, and the Revival of the Epicurean Canonic, James Steintrager -- 7. Sensual Idealism: The Spirit of Epicurus and the Politics of Finitude in Kant and Hölderlin, Anthony Adler -- 8. The Sublime, Today?, Glenn Most -- 9. From Heresy to Nature: Leo Strauss's History of Modern Epicureanism, Benjamin Aldes Wurgaft -- 10. Epicurean Presences in Foucault's The Hermeneutics of the Subject, Alain Gigandet -- 11. Deleuze, Lucretius, and the Simulacrum of Naturalism, Brooke Holmes
books  kindle-available  intellectual_history  Latin_lit  literary_history  ancient_philosophy  ancient_Greece  ancient_Rome  Roman_Republic  Roman_Empire  Epicurean  Lucretius  influence-literary  reception  Renaissance  reader_response  readership  reading  16thC  English_lit  materialism  Enlightenment  French_Enlightenment  La_Mettrie  gender  gender_history  German_Idealism  Kant-aesthetics  Kant  Hölderlin  poetry  sublime  naturalism  Strauss  Foucault  Rousseau  Deleuze  lit_crit  new_historicism  subjectivity  finitude  death  literature-and-morality  literary_theory  postmodern  modernity  modernity-emergence  pleasure 
june 2015 by dunnettreader
Markus Gabriel interview with Richard Marshall - Why The World Does Not Exist But Unicorns Do | 3AM - May 2015
Markus Gabriel broods on why the world doesn’t exist and never stops wondering about Kant, existence, pluralism, fields of sense, Huw Price, about why he isn’t po-mo, nor a Meinongian, about why unicorns exist, about why he’s a realist, about dissolving the hard problem, about why naturalism and physicalism are wrong, about Schelling and post-Kantian idealism, about Badiou and Meillassouz, Heidegger, about resisting skepticism, about negative philosophy, mythology, madness, laughter and the need for illusions in metaphysics, and about the insult that is the continental/analytic divide . Gird up for an amazing story… -- humongous interview divided into 2 pages - each about twice as long as one of Marshall's regular interviews -- only page 1 picked up by Instapaper, and no single page option -- saved as 2 pdfs to Note
Instapaper  downloaded  intellectual_history  philosophy  metaphysics  ontology  ontology-social  realism  realism-speculative  postmodern  Rorty  Kant  Schelling  German_Idealism  pragmatism  pragmatism-analytic  Husserl  Heidegger  scepticism  myth  Brandom  French_intellectuals  continental_philosophy  philosophy_of_science  analytical_philosophy  Russell_Bertrand  Frege  physicalism  materialism  naturalism  from instapaper
may 2015 by dunnettreader
Fiona Ellis - God, Value, and Nature (October 2014) - Oxford University Press
** analysis of the familiar contrast between the 'natural' and the 'supernatural' domains ** Explores the idea of expanded nature and develops it in a direction that will accomodate theism. ** Examines the nature of expansive naturalism, drawing on ...Akeel Bilgrami, David Wiggins, and John McDowell ** extensive discussion of Levinas's claim that relating to value is both necessary and sufficient for relating to God **-** Many philosophers believe that God has been put to rest. Naturalism is the default position, and the naturalist can explain what needs to be explained without recourse to God. This book agrees that we should be naturalists, but it rejects the more prevalent scientific naturalism in favour of an 'expansive' naturalism inspired by David Wiggins and John McDowell. (..) expansive naturalism can accommodate the idea of God, (..) the expansive naturalist has unwittingly paved the way towards a form of naturalism which poses a genuine challenge to the atheist. (..) the traditional naturalism vs theism debate must be reconfigured: naturalism and theism (..) can both be true. Ellis draws on ... thinkers from theology and philosophy, ... between analytic and continental philosophy. (..) philosophical problems including the limits of nature and the status of value; theological problems surrounding the natural/supernatural relation, the Incarnation, and the concept of myth; and offers a model - inspired by the secular expansive naturalist's conception of philosophy - to comprehend the relation between philosophy and theology.
books  kindle-available  intellectual_history  philosophy_of_religion  philosophy_of_science  naturalism  natural_religion  theism  Deism  analytical_philosophy  McDowell  atheism  atheism-new  values  secularism  theology  Christology  supernatural  myth 
february 2015 by dunnettreader
Fiona Ellis - on her new book "God, Value and Nature" | Oxford University Press Blog
Uses A.C. Grayling as the atheistic-naturalism foil. Suggests more re her argument than in the Oxford University Press catalog -- that her model uses Hegelian dialectic to surmount the "scientism" of the New Atheists and takes McDowell's argument that "value" belongs on the naturalist side of the divide to further extend the boundaries of naturalism.
books  kindle-available  theology  philosophy_of_science  philosophy_of_religion  naturalism  supernatural  values  theism  Deism  analytical_philosophy  McDowell  atheism  atheism-new  scientism  Hegel  dialectic  Pocket  Instapaper  from instapaper
february 2015 by dunnettreader
Chad Wellmon - The Thin Reed of Humanism | The Infernal Machine - Hedgehog Review - Jan 2015
Leon Wieseltier is at his cantankerous best in his latest essay (..) reprising many of the themes of his public feud with Steven Pinker in the pages of the New Republic(..) are cultural barometers of our impoverished cultural imagination concerning the relationship of science, the humanities, and technology. (..) he’s gesturing toward real concerns about the reductive materialism or naturalism that tends to underlie the work of popular polemicists like Dawkins, Dennet, and Pinker. He is not denying that our world and our selves can, in part, be explained through material mechanisms. When critics invoke “humanism” against “scientism” or “technologism,” they presume to know the proper boundaries of science and technology; they presume that they can readily and forcefully articulate where scientific knowledge ends and humanistic knowledge begins. They assume the role of guardians of our intellectual and ethical world. That’s a heavy burden. But it’s also a presumption that ignores how much of our knowledge comes from these border crossings. -- discusses etymology of "humanism" - 1808 Germany used contra Enlightenment-era education to develop "natural" capacities, treated by the author as privileging man the "animal" unlike "humanism" that sybordinated body to reason, etc. -- also cites James Schmidt's detective work re origins of "scientism"
cultural_critique  intellectual_history  19thC  20thC  21stC  scientistism  humanism  reductionism  human_nature  humanities  dualism  Enlightenment  Counter-Enlightenment  cultural_history  cultural_change  cultural_authority  scientific_culture  naturalism  technology  from instapaper
february 2015 by dunnettreader
Steven Shapin on E.C. Spary, Eating the Enlightenment : Food and the Sciences in Paris, 1670-1760 | The Los Angeles Review of Books - March 2013
Delightful review noting that the traditional humoural medicine, including diet, was based on a close link between body and mind, but as humours were abandoned great confusion about just what the links were and how they worked. Also covers the commercial distribution of new (to Europeans) beverages (coffee, tea, chocolate etc) and invention of others (e.g. various spirits like eaux de vie) and flavors. Got wrapped up in morality debates re taste vs gluttony, luxury, consumer fashion, and naturalism, reflected in the Encyclopédie and Rousseau. Shapin extends his discussion beyond the book's time frame to 19thC.
books  reviews  cultural_history  17thC  18thC  French_Enlightenment  luxury  consumerism  fashion  naturalism  noble_savage  virtue  vice  medicine  food  taste  Encyclopédie  Voltaire  Rousseau  Bouffon  humours  history_of_science  sociology_of_knowledge  EF-add 
august 2014 by dunnettreader
Brian Leiter - Objectivity, Morality and Adjudication :: SSRN In OBJECTIVITY IN LAW AND MORALS, Brian Leiter, Cambridge University Press, 2001
Two familiar features of Dworkin's theory of adjudication generate a strange predicament. Dworkin maintains that most cases, including most "hard" cases, have "right answers." Yet he also argues that to discover that right answer, judges must avail themselves of moral considerations and moral argument: a party's rights follow from the principle which explains some significant portion of the prior institutional history and provides the best justification for that institutional history as a matter of political morality. Yet if morality is, as many seem to think, "subjective" in some sense, then there may be as many right answers as a matter of morality as there are judges and thus, consequently, no single right answer as a matter of law. Dworkin's response asks us to distinguish between sensible, but defeasible, "internal" attacks on the objectivity of morality, from unintelligible, and irrelevant, "external" attacks on the objectivity of morality. Dworkin's internal/external distinction may be usefully recast as two competing paradigms of objectivity. ... by the "Naturalistic Conception," objectivity in any domain must be understood on the model of the natural sciences, whose objects of study are objective in the sense of being "mind-independent" and causally efficacious. The "Non-Naturalistic Conception," by contrast, denies that the type of objectivity found in the natural sciences is the relevant type of objectivity to aspire to in all domains. Dworkin's version of Non-Naturalism bears a striking similarity to John McDowell's. I conclude that neither version provides an adequate account of objectivity: they fail to explain basic intuitions about objectivity (even in ethics), as well as leaving us with a picture of the "objectivity" of ethics that would, in fact, be quite congenial to the non-cognitivism that both McDowell and Dworkin purport to have left behind. -- Number of Pages in PDF File: 42
books  SSRN  philosophy_of_law  moral_philosophy  metaethics  morality-objective  objectivity  legal_validity  naturalism  epistemology-moral  reason-passions  reasons  reasons-internalism  reasons-externalism  judiciary  bibliography  EF-add 
july 2014 by dunnettreader
Ronald J. Allen, Brian Leiter - Naturalized Epistemology and the Law of Evidence :: SSRN - Virginia Law Review, 2001
This paper looks at important developments in epistemology, and demonstrates that naturalized epistemology provides a firm conceptual foundation for much research into law of evidence. These developments in epistemology have not been much noted in legal scholarship, despite their importance in philosophy and their coincidence with some widely shared approaches to evidence scholarship. This article is a partial antidote for the unproductive fascination in some quarters of the legal academy with "postmodern" conceptions of knowledge and truth and to the even more common search by the legal professoriat for algorithms that provide answers to important legal questions, such as Bayesian decision theory or micro-economics. The article argues that the naturalistic turn in epistemology of the past thirty years (especially that branch known as social epistemology) provides the appropriate theoretical framework for the study of evidence, as it does for virtually any enterprise concerned with the empirical adequacy of its theories and the truth-generating capacity of its methodologies. It also provides a way to conceptualize and evaluate specific rules of evidence, and concomitantly explains what most evidence scholars do, regardless of their explicit philosophical commitments. For the great bulk of evidentiary scholars, this article should solidify the ground beneath their feet. -- Number of Pages in PDF File: 78 - large bibliography -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  SSRN  philosophy_of_law  epistemology-social  analytical_philosophy  evidence  naturalism  sociology_of_knowledge  methodology  decision_theory  law-and-economics  Bayesian  bibliography  downloaded  EF-add 
july 2014 by dunnettreader
Brian Leiter - Rorty and the Philosophical Tradition: A Comment on Professor Szubka :: SSRN
U of Chicago, Public Law Working Paper No. 298 -- I agree with Tadusz Szubka's thesis that there is a "partial" continuity between Rorty's work in the 1960s (esp. The Linguistic Turn) and his later pragmatic philosophy in which he repudiated "analytic" philosophy. I suggest additional support for the thesis of continuity comes from an examination of Rorty's undergraduate and graduate education. I then argue that the real puzzle about Rorty's intellectual development is not why he gave up on "analytic" philosophy - he had never been much committed to that research agenda, even before it became moribund--but why, beginning with Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature (PMN), he gave up on the central concerns of philosophy going back to antiquity. Many contemporary philosophers influenced by Quine's attack on the analytic-synthetic distinction and Sellars' attack on "the Myth of the Given" (the two argumentative linchpins of PMN) didn't abandon philosophical questions about truth, knowledge, and mind, they just concluded those questions needed to be naturalized, to be answered in conjunction with the empirical sciences. Why didn't Rorty go this route? The paper concludes with some interesting anecdotes about Rorty that invite speculative explanations. -- Number of Pages in PDF File: 6 -- Keywords: Rorty, analytic philosophy, Sellars, Quine, Nietzsche, metaphilosophy -- downloaded pdf to Note
paper  SSRN  intellectual_history  20thC  Rorty  pragmatism  analytical_philosophy  epistemology  Quine  Sellars  naturalism  anti-foundationalism  scepticism  analytic-synthetic  Nietzsche  linguistic_turn  downloaded  EF-add 
july 2014 by dunnettreader
Brian Leiter - Science and Morality: Pragmatic Reflections on Rorty's Pragmatism (2007) :: SSRN - University of Chicago Law Review, 2007
U of Texas Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 128 -- This is an invited commentary on Richard Rorty's Dewey Lecture, given last year at the University of Chicago Law School. "Pragmatism," says Rorty, "puts natural science on all fours with politics and art. It is one more source of suggestions about what to do with our lives." I argue that the truth in pragmatism - that the epistemic norms that help us cope are the ones on which we rely - is obscured by Rorty's promiscuous version of the doctrine, which confuses the criteria for relying on particular epistemic norms (namely, that they work for human purposes) with the content of the norms themselves (most of which make no reference to human purposes, but rather criteria like causal or explanatory power). We need presuppose no Archmiedean standpoint to conclude, as Richard Posner does, that moral inquiry is feeble in a way physics is not; we need only take seriously our best current understanding of the world, how it works, and the epistemic norms that have proven most effective in making sense of it. -- Number of Pages in PDF File: 13 -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  SSRN  intellectual_history  20thC  Rorty  pragmatism  analytical_philosophy  epistemology  Quine  Sellars  naturalism  anti-foundationalism  causation  epistemology-moral  relativism  downloaded  EF-add 
july 2014 by dunnettreader
Brian Leiter - Naturalizing Jurisprudence: Three Approaches [chapter] :: SSRN in THE FUTURE OF NATURALISM, J. Shook & P. Kurtz, eds., Prometheus Books, Amherst, NY, 2009
U of Chicago, Public Law Working Paper No. 246 -- General jurisprudence - that branch of legal philosophy concerned with the nature of law and adjudication - has been relatively unaffected by the "naturalistic" strains so evident, for example, in the epistemology, philosophy of mind and moral philosophy of the past forty years. This paper sketches three ways in which naturalism might affect jurisprudential inquiry. The paper serves as a kind of precis of the main themes in my book NATURALIZING JURISPRUDENCE: ESSAYS ON AMERICAN LEGAL REALISM AND NATURALISM IN LEGAL PHILOSOPHY (Oxford University Press, 2007). -- Number of Pages in PDF File: 16 -- Keywords: jurisprudence, naturalism, legal realism, quine, epistemology
article  books  SSRN  philosophy_of_law  analytical_philosophy  naturalism  epistemology  metaphysics  mind  mind-body  consciousness  Quine  moral_philosophy  moral_psychology  human_nature  epistemology-moral  downloaded  EF-add 
july 2014 by dunnettreader
Brian Leiter - Nietzsche's Philosophy of Action (2009) :: SSRN - in Blackwell Companion to Philosophy of Action, 2010
U of Chicago, Public Law Working Paper No. 270 -- Nietzsche holds that people lack freedom of the will in any sense that would be sufficient for ascriptions of moral responsibility; that the conscious experience we have of willing is actually epiphenomenal with respect to the actions that follow that experience; and that our actions largely arise through non-conscious processes (psychological and physiological) of which we are only dimly aware, and over which we exercise little or no conscious control. At the same time, Nietzsche, always a master of rhetoric, engages in a “persuasive definition” (Stevenson 1938) of the language of “freedom” and “free will,” to associate the positive valence of these terms with a certain Nietzschean ideal of the person unrelated to traditional notions of free will. -- No of Pages: 18 -- Keywords: Nietzsche, free will, moral responsibility, freedom, philosophy of action, epiphenomenalism -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  books  SSRN  intellectual_history  19thC  Germany  action-theory  Nietzsche  free_will  moral_philosophy  moral_psychology  human_nature  mind  consciousness  physiology  psychology  naturalism  responsibility  guilt  freedom  epiphenomenal  aesthetics  downloaded  EF-add 
july 2014 by dunnettreader
Alex Langlinais, Brian Leiter - The Methodology of Legal Philosophy [chapter] (2013) :: SSRN - H. Cappelen, T. Gendler, & J. Hawthorne (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Methodology, Forthcoming
U of Chicago, Public Law Working Paper No. 407 -- This is the revised and penultimate version of this paper. The essay surveys issues about philosophical methodology as they arise in general jurisprudence. Certainly in the Anglophone world and increasingly outside it, H.L.A. Hart’s 1961 book The Concept of Law has dominated the discussion. ...methodological debates typically scrutinize either one of two (related) ... claims in Hart’s classic work. The first is that his theory is both general and descriptive (Hart 1994: 239). The second is that his theory is an exercise in both linguistic analysis and descriptive sociology (Hart 1994: vi). We explicate both ideas, arguing, in particular, that (1) Hart aims to give an essentialist analysis of law and legal systems (a point clearest in those who follow him like J. Raz, J. Dickson and [though less of a follower] S. Shapiro), and (2) we can make sense of the linking of linguistic (and conceptual) analysis and descriptive sociology if we understand "law" as a constructed bit of "social reality" in something like John Searle's sense. The ensuing methodological debates in legal philosophy can then be understood as arguing against either linguistic or conceptual analysis (naturalists like B. Leiter), or against the idea of a purely descriptive jurisprudence (in different ways, J. Finnis, S. Perry, M. Murphy, L. Murphy, R. Dworkin). -- Keywords: H.L.A. Hart, methodology, descriptive jurisprudence, conceptual analysis, John Searle, legal philosophy -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  books  SSRN  philosophy_of_law  methodology  legal_theory  intellectual_history  social_theory  social_sciences-post-WWII  analytical_philosophy  sociology_of_law  concepts  constructivism  Hart  Raz  Dworkin  Finnis  Searle  natural_law  naturalism  positivism-legal  legal_realism  downloaded  EF-add 
july 2014 by dunnettreader
Brian Leiter - Naturalized Jurisprudence and American Legal Realism Revisited (2011 book symposium) :: SSRN - Law and Philosophy, 2011
U of Chicago, Public Law Working Paper No. 352 -- This is my reply to critics in a symposium issue of the journal Law & Philosophy (2011) devoted to my 2007 book NATURALIZING JURISPRUDENCE: AMERICAN LEGAL REALISM AND NATURALISM IN LEGAL PHILOSOPHY. The critics to whom I respond are: Julie Dickson (Oxford University), Michael Steven Green (College of William & Mary), and Mark Greenberg (University of California, Los Angeles). -- Keywords: legal realism, naturalism, jurisprudence, methodology -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  SSRN  philosophy_of_law  legal_system  legal_theory  legal_realism  positivism-legal  naturalism  methodology  downloaded  EF-add 
july 2014 by dunnettreader
Brian Leiter - Legal Realisms, Old and New :: SSRN (2012 Seegers Lecture in Jurisprudence) - Forthcoming in Valparaiso Law Review (2013)
“Legal Realism” now has sufficient cache that scholars from many different fields and countries compete to claim the mantle of the "Realist program": from political scientists who study judicial behavior, to the "law and society" scholars associated with the Wisconsin New Legal Realism project, to philosophers interested in a naturalized jurisprudence. But what does it mean to be a “legal realist”? What unites the two most famous “old” Legal Realisms — the American and the Scandinavian — with the “new legal realism” invoked, variously, by sociologists, anthropologists, and political scientists, among others? -- I argue that (1) American and Scandinavian Realism have almost nothing in common — indeed, that H.L.A. Hart misunderstood the latter as he did the former, and that the Scandinavians are closer to Hart and even Kelsen than they are to the Americans; (2) all Realists share skepticism about the causal efficacy of legal doctrine in explaining judicial decisions ("the Skeptical Doctrine") (though the Scandinavian skepticism on this score is not at all specific to the legal domain, encompassing all explanation in terms of norms); (3) American Realism almost entirely eschewed social-scientific methods in its defense of the Skeptical Doctrine, contrary to the impression given by much recent work by "new" legal realists; (4) the myth that the American Realists were seriously interested in social science derives mainly from two unrepresentative examples, Underhill Moore's behaviorism and Llewellyn's work with the Cheyenne Indians. -- Keywords: American legal realism, Scandinavian legal realism, Karl Llewellyn, Axel Hagerstrom, Alf Ross, naturalism, H.L.A. Hart, Hans Kelsen, judicial behavior
article  SSRN  philosophy_of_law  social_theory  intellectual_history  intellectual_history-distorted  legal_theory  legal_realism  social_sciences  anthropology  sociology_of_law  normativity  norms  causation  causation-social  positivism-legal  naturalism  social_process  judiciary  behavioralism  Hart  Kelsen  US_legal_system  downloaded  EF-add 
july 2014 by dunnettreader
Brian Leiter - Nietzsche Against the Philosophical Canon (2013) :: SSRN
U of Chicago, Public Law Working Paper No. 438 -- Nietzsche views the Western philosophical tradition as organized around a conception of philosophy deriving from Socrates. According to this (loosely) Socratic philosophical canon: (1) Philosophy, as the “love of wisdom,” aims for knowledge of timeless and non-empirical truths, including truths about the good and the right; (2) Knowledge of the truth is the overriding value in philosophy and is also essential for living well; and (3) Philosophical knowledge is acquired through the exercise of reason, understood as a faculty that can operate independently, in whole or in part, of a posteriori evidence. This paper explores Nietzsche's reasons for rejecting this conception of philosophy on each count, especially as developed in his book, Twilight of the Idols. Nietzsche's replacement of metaphysical speculation with psychological diagnosis is compared to Carnap's own critique of metaphysics, and helps explain Carnap's high appraisal of Nietzsche compared to other major figures in post-Kantian German philosophy. Nietzsche's rejection of the traditional philosophical canon is contrasted with that of other critics of the tradition, including Marx, Quine, Heidegger, and Wittgenstein. The reaction against naturalism in recent Anglophone philosophy is offered, finally, as a case study in support of Nietzsche's skepticism about the philosophical canon. --Keywords: Nietzsche, Socrates, Quine, Marx, Heidegger, Wittgenstein, Carnap, meta-philosophy, ethics -- downloaded pdf to Note
paper  SSRN  intellectual_history  19thC  20thC  21stC  ancient_philosophy  moral_philosophy  moral_psychology  human_nature  metaphysics  metaethics  epistemology  truth  good  flourishing  Socrates  post-truth  German_Idealism  Marx  Carnap  Quine  Heidegger  Wittgenstein  canon  ethics  reason  apriori  empiricism  naturalism  scepticism  downloaded  EF-add 
july 2014 by dunnettreader
Brian Leiter - Beyond the Hart/Dworkin Debate: The Methodology Problem in Jurisprudence (2005) :: SSRN
Heavily cited -- U of Texas Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 34 -- For three decades now, much of the Anglo-American legal philosophy curriculum has been organized around something called the Hart/Dworkin debate, a debate whose starting point is Ronald Dworkin's 1967 critique of the seminal work of Anglophone jurisprudence in the twentieth-century, H.L.A. Hart's 1961 book, The Concept of Law. This essay reviews the Hart/Dworkin debate and argues that it no longer deserves to play the same organizing role in the jurisprudential curriculum of the twenty-first century that it played at the close of the twentieth: on the particulars of the Hart/Dworkin debate, Hart has emerged the clear victor, so much so that even the heuristic value of the Dworkinian criticisms of Hart are now in doubt. (Dworkin's quite recent polemic against legal positivism in the 2002 Harvard Law Review is also addressed briefly.) The significant philosophical challenges that face legal positivists are now different, often in kind, from the ones Dworkin made famous. These, I shall argue, fall into two broad categories: first, the correct account of the content of the rule of recognition and its relationship to the possibility of law's authority (the Hart/Raz debate); and second, the proper methodology of jurisprudence, a debate which aligns defenders of descriptive conceptual jurisprudence (like Hart and Raz) against two sets of opponents: natural lawyers like Finnis, Perry and Stavropoulos who challenge whether jurisprudence can be descriptive; and philosophical naturalists, like the present author, who question whether conceptual analysis is a fruitful philosophical method in jurisprudence (or elsewhere). -- downloaded pdf to Note
paper  SSRN  philosophy_of_law  20thC  21stC  intellectual_history  positivism-legal  legal_realism  naturalism  natural_law  natural_rights  social_theory  social_sciences-post-WWII  Hart  Dworkin  Finnis  Raz  moral_philosophy  concepts  concepts-change  historical_change  analytical_philosophy  sociology_of_law  downloaded  EF-add 
july 2014 by dunnettreader
Brian Leiter - The Hermeneutics of Suspicion: Recovering Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud (2005) :: SSRN
U of Texas Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 72 -- Paul Ricoeur famously dubbed that great triumvirate of late nineteenth - and early twentieth-century thought - Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud - "the school of suspicion," by which he meant those thinkers who taught us to regard with suspicion our conscious understandings and experience, whether the deliverances of ordinary psychological introspection about one's desires.., or the moral categories political leaders and ordinary citizens apply to themselves and the social world they inhabit... "Beneath" or "behind" the surface lay causal forces that explained the conscious phenomena precisely because they laid bare the true meaning of those phenomena -- I shall argue that, in fact, all three of the great practitioners of the hermeneutics of suspicion have suffered at the hands of moralizing interpreters who have resisted the essentially naturalistic thrust of their conception of philosophical practice. As a matter of both textual exegesis and intellectual importance, Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud are best read as primarily naturalistic thinkers, that is thinkers who view philosophical inquiry as continuous with a sound empirical understanding of the natural world and the causal forces operative in it. When one understands conscious life naturalistically, in terms of its real causes, one contributes at the same time to a critique of the contents of consciousness: that, in short, is the essence of a hermeneutics of suspicion. -- downloaded pdf to Note
paper  SSRN  social_theory  human_nature  intellectual_history  intellectual_history-distorted  19thC  20thC  21stC  hermeneutics_of_suspicion  causation-social  psychology  moral_psychology  historical_change  normativity  morality-Nietzche  Marx  Marxist  Freud  motivation  action-theory  naturalism  empiricism  downloaded  EF-add 
july 2014 by dunnettreader
Brian Leiter - American Legal Realism (2002) :: SSRN
Heavily cited -- U of Texas Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 42 -- This essay sets out the main elements of the revisionary and philosophical interpretation of the jurisprudence of American Legal Realism that I have developed in a series of articles over the last decade. This reading emphasizes the commitment of all the Realists to a core descriptive claim about adjudication (judges respond primarily to the underlying facts of the cases, rather than to legal rules and reasons); shows how the Realists divide in to two camps over the correct interpretation of this "core" claim (the Idiosncyrasy Wing of Frank, and the Sociological Wing of Llewellyn, Oliphant, Moore, Green, and the vast majority of Realists); demonstrates the connection of the Sociological Wing of Realism to the Realist project of law reform, including the work of the American Law Institute; examines and distinguishes the Realist arguments for the indeterminacy of law from Critical Legal Studies arguments; and shows how the Realists lay the foundation for the program of a "naturalized" jurisprudence, in opposition to the dominant "conceptual" jurisprudence of Anglophone legal philosophy. The revisionary reading also debunks certain popular myths about Legal Realism, like the following: the Realists believed "what the judge ate for breakfast determines the decision"; a critique of the public/private distinction was a central part of Realist jurisprudence; and the Realists were committed to an incoherent form of rule-skepticism. -- downloaded pdf to Note
paper  SSRN  philosophy_of_law  legal_realism  legal_system  legal_theory  legal_culture  sociology_of_law  reform-legal  naturalism  concepts  analytical_philosophy  Anglo-American  downloaded  EF-add 
july 2014 by dunnettreader
Brian Leiter - Nietzsche [chapter] (last revised 2013) :: SSRN for Oxford Handbook of 19thC Philosophy, M. Forster & K. Gjesdal, eds. (2014)
This essay offers a philosophical overview of the central themes of Nietzsche's philosophy, addressing (1) the primary intellectual influences on his work (esp. the PreSocratics, Schopenhauer, and Lange); (2) the style in which he writes and his philosophical reasons for it; (3) his philosophical naturalism and its role in his conception of the mind and agency; (4) his critique of morality and its connection with the idea that there can be an "aethestic" justification for existence, notwithstanding the terrible truths about human existence (such as suffering and death); and (5) competing interpretations of his views on truth and knowledge. Certain well-known Nietzschean ideas -- like "will to power," "eternal recurrence," and perspectivism -- are also located and explained within this philosophical framework. -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  SSRN  books  intellectual_history  19thC  Germany  Nietzsche  pre-Socratics  Schopenhauer  Lange  naturalism  moral_psychology  epistemology  mind  agency  aesthetics  human_nature  perspectivism  relativism  will_to_power  elite_culture  mass_culture  German_Idealism  human_condition  downloaded  EF-add 
july 2014 by dunnettreader
Brian Bix - Raz on Necessity (last revised 2009 ) :: SSRN - Law and Philosophy, vol. 22, pp. 537-559 (2003)
The article uses Joseph Raz's work as the starting point for a general discussion of the role of necessity and essence in jurisprudence. Analytical legal theorists commonly assert (or assume) that they are offering conceptual truths, claims regarding attributes necessarily true of all legal systems. Is it tenable to speak about necessary truths with a humanly created institution like law? Upon closer investigation, the use of necessary truths in writers like Raz and Jules Coleman clearly differs from the way such terms are used in classical metaphysics, and even in contemporary discussions of natural kind terms. Nonetheless, theorists making conceptual statements regarding law are making significant and ambitious claims that need to be defended - for example, against naturalists like Brian Leiter, who doubt the value of conceptual analysis, and normative theorists like Stephen Perry, who argue that assertions about the nature of law require value-laden moral and political choices between tenable alternatives. -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  SSRN  philosophy_of_law  legal_system  legal_theory  analytical_philosophy  concepts  metaphysics  modal_logic  possible_worlds  universalism  universals  natural_kinds  natural_law  moral_philosophy  morality-objective  morality-conventional  normativity  essence  naturalism  legal_realism  philosophy_of_language  Raz  positivism-legal  downloaded  EF-add 
july 2014 by dunnettreader
Brian Bix - Joseph Raz and Conceptual Analysis (2007, revised 2009):: SSRN
American Philosophical Association Newsletter on Philosophy and Law, Vol. 6, No. 2, Spring 2007 - Minnesota Legal Studies Research Paper No. 06-65 -- The paper explores the justification for conceptual analysis as the methodology for theories about the nature of law. Using the example of Joseph Raz's theory, and Raz's own recent work on jurisprudential methodology, the paper explores the challenges to this standard approach: whether conceptual analysis is the appropriate approach, whether it needs to be supplemented by moral evaluation, and whether conceptual analysis can yield theories of substantial interest. -- Keywords: conceptual analysis, jurisprudence, legal philosophy, Joseph Raz, naturalism -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  SSRN  philosophy_of_law  analytical_philosophy  concepts  moral_philosophy  naturalism  social_theory  Raz  downloaded  EF-add 
july 2014 by dunnettreader
Przemysław Gut - The Legacy of Spinoza. The Enlightenment According to Jonathan Israel | Diametros
Dr hab. Przemysław Gut, Assistant Professor, Department of the History of Modern and Contemporary Philosophy, Institute of Theoretical Philosophy, Faculty of Philosophy, The John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin -- The aim of the paper is to present and analyze the interpretation of the Enlightenment which has recently been proposed by Jonathan Israel, with the focus on its philosophical aspect as opposed to the historical one. The paper consists of two parts. The task of the first part is reconstructive: it attempts to explore Israel’s most characteristic statements concerning the Enlightenment. The second and more extensive part has a polemical character: it endeavours to furnish the reader with an answer to the question of the degree to which the understanding of the Enlightenment proposed by Israel can be considered a satisfying interpretation of this period. The paper suggests that the main problem which may undermine Israel’s account of the Enlightenment is associated with the unduly selective interpretation of Spinoza’s philosophy and its position in the intellectual society of that time. -- Keywords - Enlightenment Spinoza historiography naturalism pantheism atheism human nature -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  intellectual_history  religious_history  historiography  17thC  18thC  Enlightenment  Radical_Enlightenment  Spinoza  Spinozism  natural_philosophy  naturalism  pantheism  atheism  human_nature  political_philosophy  moral_philosophy  Republic_of_Letters  philosophes  downloaded  EF-add 
july 2014 by dunnettreader
Margaret C. Jacob - How Radical Was the Enlightenment? What Do We Mean by Radical? | Diametros
Distinguished Professor of History, UCLA Email: mjacob@history.ucla.edu
-- The Radical Enlightenment has been much discussed and its original meaning somewhat distorted. In 1981 my concept of the storm that unleashed a new, transnational intellectual movement possessed a strong contextual and political element that I believed, and still believe, to be critically important. Idealist accounts of enlightened ideas that divorce them from politics leave out the lived quality of the new radicalism born in reaction to monarchical and clerical absolutism. Taking the religious impulse seriously and working to defang it of bellicosity would require years of labor. First all the world’s religions had to be surveyed, see Picart’s seven folio volumes; and Rousseau’s Savoyard vicar had to both preach and live religion simply as true virtue; and finally Jefferson editing the Bible so as to get the irrational parts simply removed, thus making people more fit to grant a complete religious toleration. Throughout the century all these approaches to revealed religion may be legitimately described as radical. Each produced a different recommendation for its replacement. As I have now come to see, the pantheism I identified in 1981 would lead in many directions, among them lay the search to understand all human religiosity and to articulate a universal natural religion. -- Keywords - Atheism materialism absolutism French Protestant refugees Dutch cities religious toleration Bernard Picart Jonathan Israel English freethinkers Papal condemnation Rousseau pantheism Jefferson -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  intellectual_history  religious_history  cultural_history  political_history  17thC  18thC  Dutch  British_history  Enlightenment  Radical_Enlightenment  French_Enlightenment  political_culture  politics-and-religion  religion-established  religious_belief  comparative_religion  comparative_anthropology  monotheism  natural_religion  natural_philosophy  materialism  tolerance  natural_rights  naturalism  pantheism  atheism  atheism_panic  anticlerical  Absolutism  monarchy  monarchy-proprietary  publishing  public_sphere  Picart  Rousseau  Jefferson  revelation  Biblical_authority  Bible-as-history  Biblical_criticism  Huguenots  free-thinkers  Papacy  papal_infallibility  censorship  Republic_of_Letters  rational_religion  American_colonies  Early_Republic  ecclesiology  querelle_des_rites  virtue  moral_philosophy  downloaded  EF-add 
july 2014 by dunnettreader
Sebastian Gardner - Spinoza, Enlightenment, and Classical German Philosophy | Diametros
This paper offers a critical discussion of Jonathan Israel’s thesis that the political and moral ideas and values which define liberal democratic modernity should be regarded as the legacy of the Radical Enlightenment and thus as deriving from Spinoza. What I take issue with is not Israel’s map of the actual historical lines of intellectual descent of ideas and account of their social and political impact, but the accompanying conceptual claim, that Spinozism as filtrated by the naturalistic wing of eighteenth-century French thought, is conceptually sufficient for the ideology of modernity. The post-Kantian idealist development, I argue, qualifies as radical, and hinges on Spinoza, but its construal of Spinoza does not fit Israel’s thesis, and reflects an appreciation of the limitations, for the purpose of creating a rational modernity, of the naturalistic standpoint represented by thinkers such as d’Holbach. -- Keywords Spinoza (Radical) Enlightenment Kant Schelling Hegel idealism naturalism -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  intellectual_history  cultural_history  political_history  political_philosophy  17thC  18thC  19thC  Enlightenment  Radical_Enlightenment  German_Idealism  Spinoza  Kant  Hegel  Schelling  naturalism  materialism  French_Enlightenment  d'Holbach  democracy  egalitarian  modernity-emergence  Spinozism  downloaded  EF-add 
july 2014 by dunnettreader
Giuseppina D’Oro - Le fossé dans l’explication n’est pas épistémologique mais sémantique | Érudit | Philosophiques v36 n1 2009, p. 183-192 |
Giuseppina D’Oro - Université de Keele -- Traduction de l’anglais par Jérôme Havenel -- This paper explores an alternative to the metaphysical challenge to physicalism posed by Jackson and Kripke and to the epistemological one exemplified by the positions of Nagel, Levine and Mcginn. On this alternative the mind-body gap is neither ontological nor epistemological, but semantic. I claim that it is because the gap is semantic that the mind body-problem is a quintessentially philosophical problem that is not likely to wither away as our natural scientific knowledge advances. -- downloaded pdf to Note
metaphysics  ontology  epistemology  mind-body  consciousness  concepts  semantics  analytical_philosophy  Kripke  Nagel  reductionism  physicalism  naturalism  idealism  downloaded  EF-add 
june 2014 by dunnettreader
Brian Leiter, review - Christopher Janaway and Simon Robertson (eds.), Nietzsche, Naturalism and Normativity // Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // Jan 2014
This volume comprises nine new essays, primarily on various topics in Nietzsche's ethics, especially his critique of morality, meta-ethics and moral psychology; only one essay primarily concerns the meaning of "naturalism." The contributors include, besides the editors, several well-known figures in Anglophone Nietzsche studies: R. Lanier Anderson, Nadeem Hussain, Peter Poellner, Bernard Reginster, and Richard Schacht. Of perhaps special interest is that the volume features two essays by well-known moral philosophers, Peter Railton and Alan Thomas, neither of whom has written on Nietzsche previously. Almost all the essays (with an exception to be noted) are written to a high standard of scholarly care and philosophical argumentation, and can be read profitably by philosophers not primarily interested in Nietzsche. The volume as a whole is essential for Nietzsche scholars, and some of the essays will interest moral philosophers more generally.

The essays can be grouped into three main areas. First, when Nietzsche critiques morality, what is his target and how can his critique (and his naturalism) be squared with his own evaluative views (Railton, Simon Robertson)? Call this, following my terminology (Leiter 2002: 74-77, which Robertson explicitly adopts), "the Scope Problem." Second, several essays (Hussain, Poellner, Thomas) address metaethical questions, in particular, what the metaphysical and semantic status and character of Nietzsche's own evaluative judgments are supposed to be. Third, three other authors (Anderson, Christopher Janaway, Reginster) examine aspects of Nietzsche's moral psychology, particularly his conception of human agency, motivation, and the self. Finally, Schacht is the only author to focus exclusively on the question of what Nietzsche's naturalism amounts to; unfortunately, his is the weakest essay in the volume.
books  reviews  intellectual_history  19thC  Germany  Nietzsche  moral_philosophy  moral_psychology  human_nature  naturalism  free_will  agency  self  values  normativity  EF-add 
march 2014 by dunnettreader
Brian Leiter, review - Christopher Janaway, Beyond Selflessness: Reading Nietzsche's Genealogy // Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // (2007)
.. this intelligent and illuminating book, which aims to defend two rather precise theses about reading Nietzsche's On the Genealogy of Morality: first, that Nietzsche's method of writing is intended to engage the reader emotionally or affectively; and second, that such affective engagement is a necessary precondition for altering the reader's views about evaluative questions -- that "without the rhetorical provocations, without the revelation of what we find gruesome, shaming, embarrassing, comforting, and heart-warming we would neither comprehend nor be able to revalue our current values". -- Janaway and I are farther apart with respect to Nietzsche's conception of human agency and freedom. Janaway takes the passage on "the sovereign individual" (GM II:2) as giving expression to Nietzsche's "positive conception of free will" as "involv[ing] acting fully within one's character, knowing its limits and capabilities, and valuing oneself for what one is rather than for one's conformity to an external standard or to what one ought to be". It seems to me a mistake, however, to read this passage as articulating a kind of ideal of agency or selfhood; in context, I think it is far more plausible to understand the passage as being wholly ironic and mocking. -- very useful re Leiter view of both Hume and Nietzsche's "science of man" based on "speculative naturalism"
books  reviews  intellectual_history  18thC  19thC  Germany  Nietzsche  Hume  naturalism  science_of_man  moral_psychology  free_will  causation  agency  EF-add 
march 2014 by dunnettreader
Gordon Park Stevenson - Revamping Action Theory | JSTOR: Behavior and Philosophy, Vol. 32, No. 2 (2004), pp. 427-451
Philosophical interest in intentional action has flourished in recent decades. Typically, action theorists propose necessary and sufficient conditions for a movement's being an action, conditions derived from a conceptual analysis of folk psychological action ascriptions. However, several key doctrinal and methodological features of contemporary action theory are troubling, in particular (i) the insistence that folk psychological kinds like beliefs and desires have neurophysiological correlates, (ii) the assumption that the concept of action is "classical" in structure (making it amenable to definition in terms of necessary and sufficient conditions for its proper application), and (iii) the assumption that deferring to intuitions about the application of the concept of action amidst the context of fantastical thought experiments furnishes an effective method for judging the adequacy of proposed analyses. After consideration of these problems it is argued that action theory needs to be reoriented in a more naturalistic direction, the methods and aims of which are continuous with those of the empirical sciences. The paper concludes with a sketch (and defense) of the methodological foundations of a naturalistic approach to intentional action. -- serves as a lit survey of 1970s and 1980s mostly -- didn't download
article  jstor  analytical_philosophy  concepts  action-theory  intentionality  mind-body  naturalism  lit_survey  EF-add 
february 2014 by dunnettreader
Bevir, Mark, and Kedar, Asaf - Concept Formation in Political Science: An Anti-Naturalist Critique of Qualitative Methodology [eScholarship] (2008)
Looks like a working paper by Bevir with PhD candidate - paper presented in 2006. The "naturalism" they criticize appears to reify social science concepts and doesn't have a place for anti-foundationalism "web of meaning" interpretation. Still not sure how this differs from hermeneutics other than perhaps not so focused on phenomenology or various versions of verstehen. -- downloaded pdf to Note
paper  eScholarship  philosophy_of_social_science  naturalism  anti-foundationalism  interpretivism  hermeneutics 
february 2014 by dunnettreader
Jerrold J. Katz - Précis of "The Metaphysics of Meaning" | JSTOR: Philosophical Issues, Vol. 4 (1993), pp. 128-134
Lead paper to which a bunch of people respond separately and Katz responds to each in separate papers. Launches defense of Platonism (all physical spatio-temporal stuff is real but that isn't everything that's real) against "naturalism" - separate strands from Wittgenstein and a scientistic version from Quine. He focuses on meaning - that possible intensional without physical reference - that Quine's extreme physicalism rules out except neurobiologically. His discussion of the Wittgenstein strand looks like it gets into linguistics, Chomsky etc.
article  jstor  metaphysics  naturalism  physicalism  scientism  Platonism  Wittgenstein  Quine  philosophy_of_language  meaning  linguistics  EF-add 
january 2014 by dunnettreader
Nathaniel Jason Goldberg: Historicism, Entrenchment, and Conventionalism | JSTOR: Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie, Vol. 40, No. 2 (December 2009), pp. 259-276
Downloaded pdf to Note -- . V. Quine famously argues that though all knowledge is empirical, mathematics is entrenched relative to physics and the special sciences. Further, entrenchment accounts for the necessity of mathematics relative to these other disciplines. Michael Friedman challenges Quine's view by appealing to historicism, the thesis that the nature of science is illuminated by taking into account its historical development. Friedman argues on historicist grounds that mathematical claims serve as principles constitutive of languages within which empirical claims in physics and the special sciences can be formulated and tested, where these mathematical claims are themselves not empirical but conventional. For Friedman, their conventional, constitutive status accounts for the necessity of mathematics relative to these other disciplines. Here I evaluate Friedman's challenge to Quine and Quine's likely response. I then show that though we have reason to find Friedman's challenge successful, his positive project requires further development before we can endorse it. -- 88 references
article  jstor  intellectual_history  20thC  philosophy_of_science  sociology_of_knowledge  history_of_science  Quine  Carnap  Kuhn  historicism  empiricism  Logical_Positivism  naturalism  mathematics  bibliography  downloaded  EF-add 
december 2013 by dunnettreader
Alvin I. Goldman: A Priori Warrant and Naturalistic Epistemology: The Seventh Philosophical Perspectives Lecture | JSTOR: Noûs, Vol. 33 (1999), pp. 1-28
Downloaded pdf to Note -- overview of current "schools" -- rationalists trying to bring back a priori -- distinction between a priori truths and (corrigible) warrants -- a moderate rationalism that can fit with a naturalism that's not extreme scientistic
article  jstor  epistemology  naturalism  rationalist  empiricism  a_priori  downloaded  EF-add 
december 2013 by dunnettreader
Hilary Kornblith: Knowledge in Humans and Other Animals | JSTOR: Noûs, Vol. 33 (1999), pp. 327-346
Didn't download paper -- Much standard epistemology treats its subject as "the concept of knowledge", starting from an analysis of the concept. S(He?) takes the subject to be knowledge itself, which should be approached like other natural phenomena. From this naturalized approach (which starts with cognitive ethology of plovers), develops the claim that knowledge is a "natural kind"
article  jstor  epistemology  naturalism  natural_kinds  EF-add 
december 2013 by dunnettreader
Amazon.com: ctdreyer's review of W,V. Quine - Quintessence: Basic Readings from the Phil...
The twenty-five selections here are arranged topically rather than chronologically, and five general topics are covered here: analyticity, the indeterminacy of translation and the inscrutability of reference, ontology, naturalized epistemology and Quine's behaviorist/eliminativist philosophy of mind, and modality and other intensional notions. But this anthology is not intended as a collection of Quine's "greatest hits." While several of these papers (viz. "Two Dogmas of Empiricism," "On What There Is,""Epistemology Naturalized") are oft-reprinted classics, not all of them are among his most famous work. The editorial decisions here have been guided by an overriding aim of presenting Quine's characteristic doctrines on his own works, and not by the aim of collecting his most widely read works in a single volume.

The avowed intention here is to provide the reader with an introduction to Quine's thought through his own writings. The selections are, of course, well-chosen for that purpose, in that most of them are clear, relatively accessible, and largely non-technical. However, the reader should be aware that there is almost no editorial material here--just a very short introduction--and that the papers in this volume are expected to speak for themselves.
books  reviews  20thC  analytical_philosophy  empiricism  naturalism  epistemology  philosophy_of_language  philosophy_of_science 
december 2013 by dunnettreader
Massimo Pigliucci interviewed by Richard Marshall. rationally speaking » 3:AM Magazine
Massimo Pigliucci keeps a beady mind’s eye on the demarcation problem between science and pseudo-science, on the fun of getting philosophy out there, on the value of philosophy and how it makes progress, on the Rupture for nerds, on his Hume tattoo, on naturalism, emergentism and a luscious ontology, on when philosophers and scientists over-reach, on Fodor on evolution, on science and ethics, on the interesting work of xphi and why we need the humanities. All told, this one lays the money down
philosophy_of_science  mind  naturalism  scientism  scientific_method  evo_psych  evolutionary_biology  virtue_ethics  EF-add 
december 2013 by dunnettreader
John Mikhail - Review of Patricia S. Churchland, 'Braintrust: What Neuroscience Tells Us About Morality':: SSRN
The treatment of these subjects is generally informative and often quite illuminating, albeit occasionally superficial. Churchland writes elegantly and presents a clear, distinctive, and forceful viewpoint on the science of morality, which draws inspiration from Aristotle, Hume, and Darwin. Her principal thesis, that moral and social values are rooted in the neurobiology of care, trust, and cooperation, deserves to be taken seriously by scientists and philosophers alike. In this review, I focus on three perceived weaknesses of Churchland’s stimulating book that likely will be of particular interest to philosophers: her interpretation of Hume, her skepticism toward innate moral principles, and her treatment of moral rules. I then conclude by making a few brief observations about the general significance of Braintrust. Keywords: Churchland, Darwin, Hume, Aristotle, Plato, morality, nativism, epistemology, computation, rules, neurobiology, care, attachment, norms, genes, evolution -- downloaded pdf to Note
books  kindle  reviews  moral_philosophy  cognition  neuroscience  Hume  naturalism  evolutionary_biology  evo_psych  epistemology  genetics  downloaded  EF-add 
september 2013 by dunnettreader

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