Nowhere Man. Language, Concepts, and Geach s Argument against Abstraction

Size: px
Start display at page:

Download "Nowhere Man. Language, Concepts, and Geach s Argument against Abstraction"

Transcription

1 Nowhere Man Charles W. Johnson PHIL4780: Kant and Transcendental Idealism 18 March 2002 Language, Concepts, and Geach s Argument against Abstraction When in the course of human events we are called upon to use language, we inevitably employ concepts in our experience, and by employing these concepts we are able to make judgments about states of affairs. This ball is red asserts that ball and red apply to our experience in a particular way. In general: it is the case that the world is thus-and-so, that is to say, this concept and that are rightly employed in our experience. All very well, but whence these concepts? How is it that we come to be able to mean something by words, and to employ words in making judgments which pick out possible states of affairs? An account that seems to have long suggested itself to inquiring minds is the account which Peter Geach dubs abstractionism, which is the doctrine that a concept is acquired by a process of singling out for attention some one feature given in direct experience abstracting it and ignoring the other features simultaneously given abstracting from them (18). However, in chapters 6-11 of Mental Acts, Geach argues that this is not how it is with certain concepts, such as those employed in logic, arithmetic, or talk of relations. Indeed, Geach argues, it could not be how it is with any concept, because the very picture of human learning suggested by abstractionism is incoherent, and based on a particular sort of error about the way in which language works.

2 The abstractionist view paints a certain picture of how we come to have the ability to use words in the language. As the good Bishop George Berkeley summarized the process in his famous Introduction to the Principles, Again, the mind having the mind having observed that in the particular extensions perceived by sense, there is something common and alike in all, and some other things peculiar, as this or that figure or magnitude, which distinguish them one from another; it considers apart or singles out by itself that which is common, making thereof a most abstract idea of extension, which is neither line, surface, nor solid, nor has any figure or magnitude but is an idea entirely prescinded from all these. ( 8) In general, the abstractionist pictures the matter as follows. Ever so many undistinguished things come before my experience, and I happen to notice that certain of those things have something in common (a differentia) which sets them apart from the rest (a genus). By selectively attending to that feature I had noticed, I can now pick out all and only those things that share that feature, and I have thus formed a concept which unites all and only those things sharing the abstracted feature to which I attended. I attending to what Peter, Paul, and Mary have in common I acquire the concept human, neglecting all in which they differ, such as physical location, sex, complexion, weight, personal opinions, and so on. Using this Nowhere Man 1 as a cognitive placeholder I can find a cognitive handle by which to grasp all and only humans. With these first-order concepts I can develop higher-order abstractions by attending carefully to what these abstracted features have in common. I hold together my concepts of human and fish and so on, and by picking out what they have in common I acquire the concept animal. With animal and plant and protozoan and so on, I abstract the uniting feature life. And so it goes, onward and upward, until at last I have developed the broadest abstractions at all, such as being or substance, which apply to and provide a ground for all of the more concrete determinations that fall under them. There is, then, a hierarchy of abstractions: being names a 1 He s a real nowhere man / Sitting in his nowhere land / Making all his nowhere plans for nobody... / Doesn t have a point of view / Knows not where he s going to / Isn t he a bit like you and me...

3 concept under which many beings fall, some of which are animal. Animal names a concept under which many animals fall, some of which are human. Human names a concept under which many humans fall, some of which are Peter, Paul, and Mary. And now that I have got concepts for picking out things in such a way, I can nicely account for judgments. To make a judgment, I arrange the concepts I have developed in various ways, combining and dividing them to frame particular possible objects of experience. Thus I may maintain that all acts of judgment are to be accounted for as exercises of concepts got by abstraction (Geach 18). I judge correctly if and only if I would be right to recognize the subject of the judgment under the abstract concept or concepts employed, i.e., if the feature or features I abstracted out are to be found in the thing or things identified by the subject term. This is all a very nice story, but we will quite rightly begin to wonder whether this is in fact how it is with concepts and judgments. In particular, it seems to be a fairly natural account as long as we talk about qualities which we perceive in outer experience for example, colors, shapes, sounds, and so forth. However, there does not seem to be nearly so natural a fit when abstractionism is turned towards the employment of logical concepts such as negation, arithmetical concepts such as number, or relational concepts such as small and large. In each case, no possible abstraction is fruitful enough to develop a concept: the situations in which the concepts are employed are radically different from one another in such a way that there is not a unique perceptible feature which can serve as the datum abstractandum for the purpose of acquiring a concept. The case of logical concepts is illustrative. Geach argues that nowhere in the sensible world could you find anything, nor could you draw any picture, that could suitably be labelled or or not (23). If we were to explain the concept negation in terms of abstraction, we would

4 need to be able to isolate some sensible quality of nottishness to which our word not corresponds. Yet what sensible quality does every case of, say, no cat, have in common? None at all there are no cats here, and there are no cats there, and there are no cats in Pluto or in the center of the Earth, and there are no cats in a universe where no matter exists but none of these have any sensible qualities in common with one another which set them apart as experiences without a cat. They share a lack in common, to be sure otherwise we would not pick them all out as being situations without a cat. But the lack is just that the lack of certain sensible qualities, not the sensible quality of a lacking. Some abstractionists attempt to shore up the problem by making logical concepts the result of abstracting from certain inner experiences. Thus or gets its meaning through our performing abstraction upon experiences of hesitation, and not is similarly related to experiences of frustration or inhibition (23). No cat becomes a complex concept, which is based upon combining the features by which we would recognize a perceptible thing under the concept cat, with the inner experience of inhibiting ourselves from making the attribution of it to anything in the situation under consideration. But this surely is a maneuver of desperation rather than reason, as in the living use of such words... such feelings may be wholly absent, without the words being in any way deprived of meaning by their absence (24). At the most, as Geach puts it, such attempted explanations are based upon the feelings that happen to be aroused in a particular writer when he says a logical word over and over to himself a magical rite of evoking its meaning (23). They make no progress towards finding a common feature of which all uses of not are recognitions. Thus it seems that abstractionism cannot provide an account of all the concepts we put to use in our use of language. It goes systematically wrong with regard to concepts other than

5 concepts which subsume sensible qualities, because there is no perceptible common feature of situations which can be picked out by abstraction. There will need to be some other account given of these concepts. For example, logical concepts may be explained in terms of the relationships between judgments in the space of inferences. However, so far the abstractionist can still happily rest in the realm of sensible concepts, such as cat, book, or red. These are, after all, the everyday sorts of terms of which she was likely thinking when she developed the term in the first place. A number of concepts are out to be sure, but can t we account for these in terms of abstraction? Geach argues that such an account, though an abstractionist takes it to be the most natural and reliable basis for her doctrine, could never be sufficient. Indeed, abstractionism fails here for the same reason that it fails to adequately account for logical concepts: abstraction cannot provide sufficient grounds for recognizing all and only things which fall under the concept. Surely there is a common sensible quality to all and only red things, redness, by which I can recognize all of them as red. However, Geach points out, this story does not go equally well for all simple sensible concepts. In particular, he counsels, Let us consider chromatic colour, i.e., colour other than white, grey, and black (37). If we carefully attend to our sensible experience, we will see that there is no common sensible bond between all and only chromatically colored things. We are inclined to seize upon the quality of their various colors, but In looking at a red window-pane I have not two sensations, one of redness and one barely of chromatic colour (37). The abstractionist, consistent with her view of concepts falling under one another in strict hierarchy, seems to think that there must be two separate characteristics annexed to the two abstract concepts: first, redness to red, and a distinct (though underlying) quality to the concept chromatic color. Yet the chromatic color of a sensible object is not a separate or a

6 separable feature from its redness (or blueness, or greenness, or whatever the particular case may be). Rather, if x is red, then it is by one and the same feature of x that x is made red and chromatically coloured (39). And thus, If I abstract from what differentiates red from other chromatic colours I am abstracting from red itself (37). If we try to pin our cognitive hopes on Nowhere Man, then we will end up as blind as we can be. On examination, the attempt to locate features in experience corresponding to such concepts as chromatic color, substance, being, and so forth seems like a rather fanciful and ill-conceived attempt. How could the abstractionist have argued herself into seeing conceptformation in terms of selective attention and isolation of particular features? Since it does not successfully explain any of our concepts, the claims of Locke et al. to have derived abstractionism from introspective psychology cannot be taken seriously. Rather, abstractionism is the result of a peculiar view towards language and how it relates to the world. Geach s references to hearing the word red uttered ceremonially in the presence of a red object (34) instructively recalls Augustine s account of the acquisition of words quoted in Wittgenstein s Philosophical Investigations 1, and so also Wittgenstein s analysis of the passage: These words, it seems to me, give us a particular picture of the essence of human language. It is this: the individual words in language name objects sentences are combinations of such names. In this picture of language we find the roots of the following idea: every word has a meaning. This meaning is correlated with the word. It is the object for which the word stands. Our old nemesis, the philosophical conception of meaning, turns out to be lurking behind the abstractionist s error. Individual words in a language name objects in the case of general words, they name abstracted features. Thus chromatic color names one feature of things, and since not all chromatically colored things are red, red names a different feature of things. The advocate of the philosophical conception of meaning drives one to give an account on which we can point to these things, chromatic color and redness, and only those things, in order to

7 employ the concepts, and here selective attention seems to be the only way to do the pointing. Thus also its account of judgment as merely the throwing together of concepts higgeldypiggeldy, as the content of a statement can only be in the way that the objects named by it stick together. But as Geach points out, this framework rests upon a false Platonistic logic; an attribute is being thought of as an identifiable object (39). And as far as judgments go, it is of course not enough, even when language is being used to describe the immediate situation, that we should utter a lot of words corresponding to several features of the situation (35). Once we resist the perennial philosophical temptation to think that if a thought is to be true of reality, then it must copy it feature by feature, like a map (41), then we come to see how judgments must be more than merely a list of objects which corresponds to the features in rebus before our awareness. And we also see how it is that while not all chromatically colored things are red, when they are red, their chromatic color just is their redness. Attribute-concepts do not play the same role in logical space as names of objects, and abstractionism s story about the hierarchy of abstract qualities only makes sense on the assumption that they do. How is it, then, with concepts? If Geach s arguments are accepted, then it seems that the mind makes concepts, and this concept-formation and the subsequent use of the concepts formed never is a mere recognition or finding (40) of recurrent features in the things around us. Though this may play a role in some (sensible quality) concepts, it does not fully explain any concepts. Just what does, Geach leaves mostly unanswered, except that whatever it is, it must constitute a process of learning both how to use words within a language, and how to bring language to bear on the world.

8 What is most important is that in fitting a concept to my experience rather than picking out the feature I am interested in from among other features given simultaneously (40), the conceptualization of experience in no way falsifies it. It seems natural to think otherwise. Whereas abstractionism keeps us right in the thick of sensible experience, since we have nothing in a concept but what we found in the world around us, Geach s framework seems to set conception at least one degree of separation from reality. Where, for example, we have argued that there is but one color characteristic the redness and chromatic color of a red thing being one and the same feature of the thing the mind distinguishes two separate concepts. So haven t we represented the world otherwise than it is? Geach points out that this is only a confusion of understanding with the object understood: When our understanding understands things that are simple, it may understand them in its own complex fashion without understanding them to be complex (40). The mind is not diaphanous, and conceptualization consists in more than merely the object conceived, and so the way it is with our understanding when we understand is different from the way it is with the thing we understand, in its actual existence (40). But this is not an unfortunate distance between mind and world; rather, it is the distinction between representing and represented that makes a connection between mind and world possible at all.

ON EXTERNAL OBJECTS By Immanuel Kant From Critique of Pure Reason (1781)

ON EXTERNAL OBJECTS By Immanuel Kant From Critique of Pure Reason (1781) ON EXTERNAL OBJECTS By Immanuel Kant From Critique of Pure Reason (1781) General Observations on The Transcendental Aesthetic To avoid all misapprehension, it is necessary to explain, as clearly as possible,

More information

1/8. Descartes 4: The Fifth Meditation

1/8. Descartes 4: The Fifth Meditation 1/8 Descartes 4: The Fifth Meditation Recap: last time we found that Descartes in the 3 rd Meditation set out to provide some grounds for thinking that God exists, grounds that would answer the charge

More information

Primary and Secondary Qualities Charles Kaijo

Primary and Secondary Qualities Charles Kaijo Primary and Secondary Qualities Charles Kaijo From examining John Locke s distinction between primary and secondary qualities in an object and Bishop George Berkeley s refutation to Locke s argument, it

More information

Reality in the Eyes of Descartes and Berkeley. By: Nada Shokry 5/21/2013 AUC - Philosophy

Reality in the Eyes of Descartes and Berkeley. By: Nada Shokry 5/21/2013 AUC - Philosophy Reality in the Eyes of Descartes and Berkeley By: Nada Shokry 5/21/2013 AUC - Philosophy Shokry, 2 One person's craziness is another person's reality. Tim Burton This quote best describes what one finds

More information

This is because the quality of extension is part of the essence of material objects.

This is because the quality of extension is part of the essence of material objects. UNIT 1: RATIONALISM HANDOUT 5: DESCARTES MEDITATIONS, MEDITATION FIVE 1: CONCEPTS AND ESSENCES In the Second Meditation Descartes found that what we know most clearly and distinctly about material objects

More information

Descartes : The Epistemological Argument for Mind-Body Distinctness. (Margaret Wilson)

Descartes : The Epistemological Argument for Mind-Body Distinctness. (Margaret Wilson) Descartes : The Epistemological Argument for Mind-Body Distinctness Detailed Argument Introduction Despite Descartes mind-body dualism being the most cited aspect of Descartes philosophy in recent philosophical

More information

1/10. Descartes 2: The Cogito and the Mind

1/10. Descartes 2: The Cogito and the Mind 1/10 Descartes 2: The Cogito and the Mind Recap: last week we undertook to follow Descartes path of radical doubt in order to attempt to discover what, if anything, can be known for certain. This path

More information

Phil 420: Metaphysics Spring 2008. [Handout 4] Hilary Putnam: Why There Isn t A Ready-Made World

Phil 420: Metaphysics Spring 2008. [Handout 4] Hilary Putnam: Why There Isn t A Ready-Made World 1 Putnam s Main Theses: 1. There is no ready-made world. Phil 420: Metaphysics Spring 2008 [Handout 4] Hilary Putnam: Why There Isn t A Ready-Made World * [A ready-made world]: The world itself has to

More information

Kant on Time. Diana Mertz Hsieh (diana@dianahsieh.com) Kant (Phil 5010, Hanna) 28 September 2004

Kant on Time. Diana Mertz Hsieh (diana@dianahsieh.com) Kant (Phil 5010, Hanna) 28 September 2004 Kant on Time Diana Mertz Hsieh (diana@dianahsieh.com) Kant (Phil 5010, Hanna) 28 September 2004 In the Transcendental Aesthetic of his Critique of Pure Reason, Immanuel Kant offers a series of dense arguments

More information

Descartes Meditations Module 3 AQA. Meditation I Things which can be called into Doubt

Descartes Meditations Module 3 AQA. Meditation I Things which can be called into Doubt Descartes Meditations Module 3 AQA Meditation I Things which can be called into Doubt Descartes rejects all his beliefs about the external world because they are doubtful and he wants to find a foundation

More information

REASONS FOR HOLDING THIS VIEW

REASONS FOR HOLDING THIS VIEW Michael Lacewing Substance dualism A substance is traditionally understood as an entity, a thing, that does not depend on another entity in order to exist. Substance dualism holds that there are two fundamentally

More information

Lecture Notes, October 30. 0. Introduction to the philosophy of mind

Lecture Notes, October 30. 0. Introduction to the philosophy of mind Philosophy 110W - 3: Introduction to Philosophy, Hamilton College, Fall 2007 Russell Marcus, Instructor email: rmarcus1@hamilton.edu website: http://thatmarcusfamily.org/philosophy/intro_f07/course_home.htm

More information

Chapter 4. Descartes, Third Meditation. 4.1 Homework

Chapter 4. Descartes, Third Meditation. 4.1 Homework Chapter 4 Descartes, Third Meditation 4.1 Homework Readings : - Descartes, Meditation III - Objections and Replies: a) Third O and R: CSM II, 132; 127-8. b) Fifth O and R: CSM II, 195-97, 251. c) First

More information

Read this syllabus very carefully. If there are any reasons why you cannot comply with what I am requiring, then talk with me about this at once.

Read this syllabus very carefully. If there are any reasons why you cannot comply with what I am requiring, then talk with me about this at once. LOGIC AND CRITICAL THINKING PHIL 2020 Maymester Term, 2010 Daily, 9:30-12:15 Peabody Hall, room 105 Text: LOGIC AND RATIONAL THOUGHT by Frank R. Harrison, III Professor: Frank R. Harrison, III Office:

More information

THE KNOWLEDGE ARGUMENT

THE KNOWLEDGE ARGUMENT Michael Lacewing Descartes arguments for distinguishing mind and body THE KNOWLEDGE ARGUMENT In Meditation II, having argued that he knows he thinks, Descartes then asks what kind of thing he is. Discussions

More information

Perfect being theology and modal truth

Perfect being theology and modal truth Perfect being theology and modal truth Jeff Speaks February 9, 2016 Perfect being theology is the attempt to use the principle that God is the greatest possible being to derive claims about the divine

More information

Introduction to Philosophy, Fall 2015 Test 2 Answers

Introduction to Philosophy, Fall 2015 Test 2 Answers 1. Descartes, Locke and Berkeley all believe that Introduction to Philosophy, Fall 2015 Test 2 Answers a. nothing exists except minds and the ideas in them. b. we can t ever be justified in believing in

More information

BERKELEY S ATTACK OF LOCKE S REPRESENTATIONALISM

BERKELEY S ATTACK OF LOCKE S REPRESENTATIONALISM 1 BERKELEY S ATTACK OF LOCKE S REPRESENTATIONALISM Benjamin Strickland Faculty Sponsor: L. Nathan Oaklander Department of Philosophy, University of Michigan-Flint George Berkeley s attack on John Locke

More information

1/9. Locke 1: Critique of Innate Ideas

1/9. Locke 1: Critique of Innate Ideas 1/9 Locke 1: Critique of Innate Ideas This week we are going to begin looking at a new area by turning our attention to the work of John Locke, who is probably the most famous English philosopher of all

More information

Frege s theory of sense

Frege s theory of sense Frege s theory of sense Jeff Speaks August 25, 2011 1. Three arguments that there must be more to meaning than reference... 1 1.1. Frege s puzzle about identity sentences 1.2. Understanding and knowledge

More information

ST ANSELM S VERSION OF THE ONTOLOGICAL ARGUMENT Anselm s argument relies on conceivability :

ST ANSELM S VERSION OF THE ONTOLOGICAL ARGUMENT Anselm s argument relies on conceivability : Michael Lacewing The ontological argument St Anselm and Descartes both famously presented an ontological argument for the existence of God. (The word ontological comes from ontology, the study of (-ology)

More information

A Short Course in Logic Example 8

A Short Course in Logic Example 8 A Short ourse in Logic xample 8 I) Recognizing Arguments III) valuating Arguments II) Analyzing Arguments valuating Arguments with More than one Line of Reasoning valuating If then Premises Independent

More information

Introduction. My thesis is summarized in my title, No. God, No Laws : the concept of a law of Nature cannot be

Introduction. My thesis is summarized in my title, No. God, No Laws : the concept of a law of Nature cannot be No God, No Laws Nancy Cartwright Philosophy LSE and UCSD Introduction. My thesis is summarized in my title, No God, No Laws : the concept of a law of Nature cannot be made sense of without God. It is not

More information

Kant s Dialectic. Lecture 3 The Soul, part II John Filling jf582@cam.ac.uk

Kant s Dialectic. Lecture 3 The Soul, part II John Filling jf582@cam.ac.uk Kant s Dialectic Lecture 3 The Soul, part II John Filling jf582@cam.ac.uk Overview 1. Re-cap 2. Second paralogism 3. Third paralogism 4. Fourth paralogism 5. Summing-up Critique of Pure Reason Transcendental

More information

Aquinas on Essence, Existence, and Divine Simplicity Strange but Consistent. In the third question of the Summa Theologiae, Aquinas is concerned with

Aquinas on Essence, Existence, and Divine Simplicity Strange but Consistent. In the third question of the Summa Theologiae, Aquinas is concerned with Aquinas on Essence, Existence, and Divine Simplicity Strange but Consistent In the third question of the Summa Theologiae, Aquinas is concerned with divine simplicity. This is important for him both theologically

More information

The Slate Is Not Empty: Descartes and Locke on Innate Ideas

The Slate Is Not Empty: Descartes and Locke on Innate Ideas The Slate Is Not Empty: Descartes and Locke on Innate Ideas René Descartes and John Locke, two of the principal philosophers who shaped modern philosophy, disagree on several topics; one of them concerns

More information

WRITING A CRITICAL ARTICLE REVIEW

WRITING A CRITICAL ARTICLE REVIEW WRITING A CRITICAL ARTICLE REVIEW A critical article review briefly describes the content of an article and, more importantly, provides an in-depth analysis and evaluation of its ideas and purpose. The

More information

Th e ontological argument distinguishes itself from the cosmological

Th e ontological argument distinguishes itself from the cosmological Aporia vol. 18 no. 1 2008 Charles Hartshorne and the Ontological Argument Joshua Ernst Th e ontological argument distinguishes itself from the cosmological and teleological arguments for God s existence

More information

The Refutation of Relativism

The Refutation of Relativism The Refutation of Relativism There are many different versions of relativism: ethical relativism conceptual relativism, and epistemic relativism are three. In this paper, I will be concerned with only

More information

Hume on identity over time and persons

Hume on identity over time and persons Hume on identity over time and persons phil 20208 Jeff Speaks October 3, 2006 1 Why we have no idea of the self........................... 1 2 Change and identity................................. 2 3 Hume

More information

Sorensen on Unknowable Obligations

Sorensen on Unknowable Obligations Sorensen on Unknowable Obligations Theodore Sider Utilitas 7 (1995): 273 9 1. Access principles Vagueness in the phrase can know aside, the principle of Access An act is obligatory only if its agent can

More information

I WISH A VALID ONTOLOGICAL ARGUMENT?

I WISH A VALID ONTOLOGICAL ARGUMENT? A VALID ONTOLOGICAL ARGUMENT? I WISH to discuss Professor Malcolm's absorbingly powerful defense of a version of Anselm's ontological proof for the existence of God.' Professor Malcolm believes "that in

More information

Writing Political Theory Papers

Writing Political Theory Papers Writing Political Theory Papers Political theory is a little bit different than political science. Here are some important differences. 1) It s more like philosophy than social science: it is more concerned

More information

Practical Jealousy Management

Practical Jealousy Management Florida Poly Retreat 2006 Practical Jealousy Management Part 1: On the Nature of Jealousy Jealousy is an unusual emotion in that it is an emotion rooted in other emotions. Often, the root of jealousy lies

More information

Argument Mapping 2: Claims and Reasons

Argument Mapping 2: Claims and Reasons #2 Claims and Reasons 1 Argument Mapping 2: Claims and Reasons We ll start with the very basics here, so be patient. It becomes far more challenging when we apply these basic rules to real arguments, as

More information

Social & Political Philosophy. Karl Marx (1818-1883) Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844

Social & Political Philosophy. Karl Marx (1818-1883) Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844 Marx 1 Karl Marx (1818-1883) Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844 Estranged Labor Marx lays out here his theory on the alienation of labor Marx s thesis would advance the view put forth by Rousseau

More information

it is no surprise that God, in creating me, should have placed this idea in me to be, as it were, the mark of the craftsman stamped on his work.

it is no surprise that God, in creating me, should have placed this idea in me to be, as it were, the mark of the craftsman stamped on his work. THIRD MEDITATION The existence of God So far Descartes sceptical arguments have threatened all knowledge but the knowledge of self provided in the cogito. But instead of turning now to the question of

More information

Descartes Handout #2. Meditation II and III

Descartes Handout #2. Meditation II and III Descartes Handout #2 Meditation II and III I. Meditation II: The Cogito and Certainty A. I think, therefore I am cogito ergo sum In Meditation II Descartes proposes a truth that cannot be undermined by

More information

Kant s Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysic of Morals

Kant s Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysic of Morals Kant s Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysic of Morals G. J. Mattey Winter, 2015/ Philosophy 1 The Division of Philosophical Labor Kant generally endorses the ancient Greek division of philosophy into

More information

Thomas Reid & Common Sense Philosophy

Thomas Reid & Common Sense Philosophy Thomas Reid & Common Sense Philosophy Key Questions: What assumptions underlie Descartes and Hume s theories? How else can we explain our knowledge of the external world? Reid is responding the kinds of

More information

Kant s deontological ethics

Kant s deontological ethics Michael Lacewing Kant s deontological ethics DEONTOLOGY Deontologists believe that morality is a matter of duty. We have moral duties to do things which it is right to do and moral duties not to do things

More information

7 critical reading strategies and activities to do with students to encourage and develop critical reading ability

7 critical reading strategies and activities to do with students to encourage and develop critical reading ability 7 critical reading strategies and activities to do with students to encourage and develop critical reading ability This text has been adapted from and extends on a text written by Salisbury University

More information

Arguments and Dialogues

Arguments and Dialogues ONE Arguments and Dialogues The three goals of critical argumentation are to identify, analyze, and evaluate arguments. The term argument is used in a special sense, referring to the giving of reasons

More information

Writing Thesis Defense Papers

Writing Thesis Defense Papers Writing Thesis Defense Papers The point of these papers is for you to explain and defend a thesis of your own critically analyzing the reasoning offered in support of a claim made by one of the philosophers

More information

What is Organizational Communication?

What is Organizational Communication? What is Organizational Communication? By Matt Koschmann Department of Communication University of Colorado Boulder 2012 So what is organizational communication? And what are we doing when we study organizational

More information

General Philosophy. Dr Peter Millican, Hertford College. Lecture 3: Induction

General Philosophy. Dr Peter Millican, Hertford College. Lecture 3: Induction General Philosophy Dr Peter Millican, Hertford College Lecture 3: Induction Hume s s Fork 2 Enquiry IV starts with a vital distinction between types of proposition: Relations of ideas can be known a priori

More information

Sartre and Freedom. Leo Franchi. Human freedom is undoubtedly one of the most fundamental ideas that has driven the

Sartre and Freedom. Leo Franchi. Human freedom is undoubtedly one of the most fundamental ideas that has driven the Sartre and Freedom Leo Franchi Human freedom is undoubtedly one of the most fundamental ideas that has driven the development of democratic politics in the last few hundred years. Freedom is taught in

More information

Phenomenological Research Methods

Phenomenological Research Methods Phenomenological Research Methods Clark Moustakas, Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks California, 1994 I Human Science Perspectives and Models Moustakas starts with discussing different human science perspectives

More information

INTELLECTUAL APPROACHES

INTELLECTUAL APPROACHES Michael Lacewing Can social science explain away religion? The view of religion taken by social scientists has changed considerably over the last 150 years. (A helpful review of the first 100 years is

More information

Fry Instant Word List

Fry Instant Word List First 100 Instant Words the had out than of by many first and words then water a but them been to not these called in what so who is all some oil you were her sit that we would now it when make find he

More information

Locke s psychological theory of personal identity

Locke s psychological theory of personal identity Locke s psychological theory of personal identity phil 20208 Jeff Speaks October 3, 2006 1 Identity, diversity, and kinds............................. 1 2 Personal identity...................................

More information

Fry Instant Words High Frequency Words

Fry Instant Words High Frequency Words Fry Instant Words High Frequency Words The Fry list of 600 words are the most frequently used words for reading and writing. The words are listed in rank order. First Hundred Group 1 Group 2 Group 3 Group

More information

APPLICATION LIFECYCLE MANAGEMENT AND BUSINESS STRATEGY

APPLICATION LIFECYCLE MANAGEMENT AND BUSINESS STRATEGY APPLICATION LIFECYCLE MANAGEMENT AND BUSINESS STRATEGY DAVID CHAPPELL DECEMBER 2008 SPONSORED BY MICROSOFT CORPORATION COPYRIGHT 2008 CHAPPELL & ASSOCIATES Is building custom software a necessary evil,

More information

Reading and Taking Notes on Scholarly Journal Articles

Reading and Taking Notes on Scholarly Journal Articles Reading and Taking Notes on Scholarly Journal Articles Set aside enough time in your schedule to read material thoroughly and repeatedly, until you understand what the author is studying, arguing, or discussing.

More information

Steve Campsall Essay Writing Guide

Steve Campsall Essay Writing Guide www.englishbiz.co.uk 2014 Steve Campsall Essay Writing Guide WHAT IS AN ESSAY? An essay can never give answers it can only offer views ; and these need to be argued for. You need to argue in support of

More information

Last May, philosopher Thomas Nagel reviewed a book by Michael Sandel titled

Last May, philosopher Thomas Nagel reviewed a book by Michael Sandel titled Fourth Quarter, 2006 Vol. 29, No. 4 Editor s Watch Sandel and Nagel on Abortion Last May, philosopher Thomas Nagel reviewed a book by Michael Sandel titled Public Philosophy in The New York Review of Books.

More information

Critical Study David Benatar. Better Never To Have Been: The Harm of Coming into Existence (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006)

Critical Study David Benatar. Better Never To Have Been: The Harm of Coming into Existence (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006) NOÛS 43:4 (2009) 776 785 Critical Study David Benatar. Better Never To Have Been: The Harm of Coming into Existence (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006) ELIZABETH HARMAN Princeton University In this

More information

QUESTION 60. An Angel's Love or Affection

QUESTION 60. An Angel's Love or Affection QUESTION 60 An Angel's Love or Affection We next have to consider the act of the will, which is love, i.e., affection (amor sive dilectio). For every act of an appetitive power stems from love, i.e., affection.

More information

Appendix B Data Quality Dimensions

Appendix B Data Quality Dimensions Appendix B Data Quality Dimensions Purpose Dimensions of data quality are fundamental to understanding how to improve data. This appendix summarizes, in chronological order of publication, three foundational

More information

TEACHER S GUIDE: DIVERSITY

TEACHER S GUIDE: DIVERSITY TEACHER S GUIDE: DIVERSITY LEARNING OBJECTIVES Students will understand that differences between people are positive. Students will learn that some people handle diversity in negative ways. Students will

More information

Share This White Paper!

Share This White Paper! 1 Introduction In the field of employee development, an area that creates much confusion is the differences between business coaching and business mentoring. This confusion often causes companies to opt

More information

Design Analysis of Everyday Thing: Nintendo Wii Remote

Design Analysis of Everyday Thing: Nintendo Wii Remote 1 Philip Stubbs Design Analysis of Everyday Thing: Nintendo Wii Remote I. Introduction: Ever since being released in November 2006, the Nintendo Wii gaming system has revolutionized the gaming experience

More information

Fry Phrases Set 1. TeacherHelpForParents.com help for all areas of your child s education

Fry Phrases Set 1. TeacherHelpForParents.com help for all areas of your child s education Set 1 The people Write it down By the water Who will make it? You and I What will they do? He called me. We had their dog. What did they say? When would you go? No way A number of people One or two How

More information

What is Christianity?

What is Christianity? What is Christianity? By J. Gresham Machen This essay appears in the collection of Machen sermons and articles titled, Historic Christianity, (A Skilton House Ministries Sowers Publication, Philadelphia,

More information

Introduction: Reading and writing; talking and thinking

Introduction: Reading and writing; talking and thinking Introduction: Reading and writing; talking and thinking We begin, not with reading, writing or reasoning, but with talk, which is a more complicated business than most people realize. Of course, being

More information

AP ENGLISH LITERATURE AND COMPOSITION 2008 SCORING GUIDELINES

AP ENGLISH LITERATURE AND COMPOSITION 2008 SCORING GUIDELINES AP ENGLISH LITERATURE AND COMPOSITION 2008 SCORING GUIDELINES Question 1 (Keats s When I Have Fears and Longfellow s Mezzo Cammin ) The score reflects the quality of the essay as a whole its content, its

More information

CRITICAL THINKING REASONS FOR BELIEF AND DOUBT (VAUGHN CH. 4)

CRITICAL THINKING REASONS FOR BELIEF AND DOUBT (VAUGHN CH. 4) CRITICAL THINKING REASONS FOR BELIEF AND DOUBT (VAUGHN CH. 4) LECTURE PROFESSOR JULIE YOO Claims Without Arguments When Claims Conflict Conflicting Claims Conflict With Your Background Information Experts

More information

Reply to French and Genone Symposium on Naïve Realism and Illusion The Brains Blog, January 2016. Boyd Millar millar.boyd@gmail.

Reply to French and Genone Symposium on Naïve Realism and Illusion The Brains Blog, January 2016. Boyd Millar millar.boyd@gmail. Reply to French and Genone Symposium on Naïve Realism and Illusion The Brains Blog, January 2016 Boyd Millar millar.boyd@gmail.com 1. Acknowledgements I would like to thank the managing editor of The Brains

More information

Formal Tools and the Philosophy of Mathematics

Formal Tools and the Philosophy of Mathematics 9 Formal Tools and the Philosophy of Mathematics Thomas Hofweber 1 How can we do better? In this chapter, I won t try to defend a particular philosophical view about mathematics, but, in the spirit of

More information

complete and, since what is presented in a tragedy imitates reality, the reality itself offers a display of such actions. The language in tragedy is

complete and, since what is presented in a tragedy imitates reality, the reality itself offers a display of such actions. The language in tragedy is Essay no. 46 A tragedy, then, is the imitation of a noble and complete action, having a certain magnitude, made in a language spiced up by diverse kinds of embellishments brought in separately in the parts

More information

Building a Better Argument

Building a Better Argument Building a Better Argument Summary Whether it s an ad for burger chains, the closing scene of a Law & Order spinoff, a discussion with the parents about your social life or a coach disputing a close call,

More information

Descartes. Philosophy and Good Sense

Descartes. Philosophy and Good Sense Perspectives in Philosophy Rene Descartes Descartes Philosophy is the search for certainty the search to know, for yourself, what is really true and really false to know which beliefs are reliable. However,

More information

Critical Analysis So what does that REALLY mean?

Critical Analysis So what does that REALLY mean? Critical Analysis So what does that REALLY mean? 1 The words critically analyse can cause panic in students when they first turn over their examination paper or are handed their assignment questions. Why?

More information

Descartes Fourth Meditation On human error

Descartes Fourth Meditation On human error Descartes Fourth Meditation On human error Descartes begins the fourth Meditation with a review of what he has learned so far. He began his search for certainty by questioning the veracity of his own senses.

More information

HOW TO CHANGE NEGATIVE THINKING

HOW TO CHANGE NEGATIVE THINKING HOW TO CHANGE NEGATIVE THINKING For there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so. William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act 2, Scene 2, 239 251. Although you may not be fully aware of it, our minds

More information

Emotional Intelligence Style Report

Emotional Intelligence Style Report Emotional Intelligence Style Report Warner,Jon Wednesday, 12 March 2008 page 1 Copyright 19992007 Worldwide Center for Organizational Development (WCOD). Emotional Intelligence Style Table Of Contents

More information

Taking Hold of Your Mind: What Skills:

Taking Hold of Your Mind: What Skills: Taking Hold of Your Mind: What Skills: Observing, Describing, and Participating Core mindfulness skills are the foundation of all Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) skills training. The problems addressed

More information

Sexual Attitudes, Values, and Beliefs

Sexual Attitudes, Values, and Beliefs Wiederman 1 Sexual Attitudes, Values, and Beliefs Most people are too focused on sexual activity they think it is more important than it really is. Do you agree or disagree with this statement? What is

More information

On Similitude Theory of Meaning: Implications and Alternatives

On Similitude Theory of Meaning: Implications and Alternatives (1) Aristotle On Similitude Theory of Meaning: Implications and Alternatives Introduction Perhaps the linguistic turn at the beginning of the 20 th century forced the philosophers to realise why language

More information

Quine on truth by convention

Quine on truth by convention Quine on truth by convention March 8, 2005 1 Linguistic explanations of necessity and the a priori.............. 1 2 Relative and absolute truth by definition.................... 2 3 Is logic true by convention?...........................

More information

ON THE NECESSARY EXISTENCE OF GOD-MINUS

ON THE NECESSARY EXISTENCE OF GOD-MINUS Faraci and Linford 1 ON THE NECESSARY EXISTENCE OF GOD-MINUS David Faraci and Daniel Linford Abstract In this paper, we offer a novel reductio of Anselm s (in)famous Ontological Argument for the existence

More information

Understanding Public Communication

Understanding Public Communication Understanding Public Communication The ability to use symbols, create meaning, and communicate ideas defines what it means to be human. To be sure, many different species communicate in their own way dogs

More information

How to Plan and Guide In Class Peer Review Sessions

How to Plan and Guide In Class Peer Review Sessions How to Plan and Guide In Class Peer Review Sessions Incorporating peer review into your course can help your students become better writers, readers, and collaborators. However, peer review must be planned

More information

Skepticism about the external world & the problem of other minds

Skepticism about the external world & the problem of other minds Skepticism about the external world & the problem of other minds So far in this course we have, broadly speaking, discussed two different sorts of issues: issues connected with the nature of persons (a

More information

Grade 8 English Language Arts 90 Reading and Responding, Lesson 9

Grade 8 English Language Arts 90 Reading and Responding, Lesson 9 GRADE 8 English Language Arts Reading and Responding: Lesson 9 Read aloud to the students the material that is printed in boldface type inside the boxes. Information in regular type inside the boxes and

More information

Chapter 8 BRAIN VS MACHINE

Chapter 8 BRAIN VS MACHINE Chapter 8 BRAIN VS MACHINE In this chapter we will examine the current state of the art insofar as we can compare the electronic computer with the human brain. Our conclusion, as you will see, is that

More information

Goal Setting. Your role as the coach is to develop and maintain an effective coaching plan with the client. You are there to

Goal Setting. Your role as the coach is to develop and maintain an effective coaching plan with the client. You are there to Goal Setting Your role as the coach is to develop and maintain an effective coaching plan with the client. You are there to Brainstorm with the client to define actions that will enable the client to demonstrate,

More information

Contradictions in Scripture: The Denials of Peter

Contradictions in Scripture: The Denials of Peter That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death. Philippians 3:10. Contradictions in Scripture: The Denials of Peter It has long

More information

On Mack on Locke on Property. more than almost any contemporary writer to develop the philosophical foundations of

On Mack on Locke on Property. more than almost any contemporary writer to develop the philosophical foundations of On Mack on Locke on Property It s a pleasure and an honor to comment on Eric Mack s superb piece on Locke. Mack has done more than almost any contemporary writer to develop the philosophical foundations

More information

In Defense of Kantian Moral Theory Nader Shoaibi University of California, Berkeley

In Defense of Kantian Moral Theory Nader Shoaibi University of California, Berkeley In Defense of Kantian Moral Theory University of California, Berkeley In this paper, I will argue that Kant provides us with a plausible account of morality. To show that, I will first offer a major criticism

More information

Table of Contents 11-step plan on how to get the most out of the strategies backtesting... 2 Step #1... 2 Pick any strategy you like from the "10

Table of Contents 11-step plan on how to get the most out of the strategies backtesting... 2 Step #1... 2 Pick any strategy you like from the 10 Table of Contents 11-step plan on how to get the most out of the strategies backtesting... 2 Step #1... 2 Pick any strategy you like from the "10 simple free strategies" file... 2 Step #2... 2 Get a strict

More information

Class 13 - March 2 Locke s Theory of the Self

Class 13 - March 2 Locke s Theory of the Self Philosophy 110W: Introduction to Philosophy Spring 2011 Hamilton College Russell Marcus Class 13 - March 2 Locke s Theory of the Self I. Body and Soul We have discussed two accounts of personal identity:

More information

The Kantian Paradox. Raivydas Simenas Creighton University

The Kantian Paradox. Raivydas Simenas Creighton University The Kantian Paradox Raivydas Simenas Creighton University a) Introduction The success of Western cultural, political and especially economical development during the last two centuries not surprisingly

More information

Mind & Body Cartesian Dualism

Mind & Body Cartesian Dualism Blutner/Philosophy of Mind/Mind & Body/Cartesian dualism 1 Mind & Body Cartesian Dualism The great philosophical distinction between mind and body can be traced to the Greeks René Descartes (1596-1650),

More information

Planning and Writing Essays

Planning and Writing Essays Planning and Writing Essays Many of your coursework assignments will take the form of an essay. This leaflet will give you an overview of the basic stages of planning and writing an academic essay but

More information

PUSD High Frequency Word List

PUSD High Frequency Word List PUSD High Frequency Word List For Reading and Spelling Grades K-5 High Frequency or instant words are important because: 1. You can t read a sentence or a paragraph without knowing at least the most common.

More information

HOW TO WRITE A CRITICAL ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAY. John Hubert School of Health Sciences Dalhousie University

HOW TO WRITE A CRITICAL ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAY. John Hubert School of Health Sciences Dalhousie University HOW TO WRITE A CRITICAL ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAY John Hubert School of Health Sciences Dalhousie University This handout is a compilation of material from a wide variety of sources on the topic of writing a

More information

Neutrality s Much Needed Place In Dewey s Two-Part Criterion For Democratic Education

Neutrality s Much Needed Place In Dewey s Two-Part Criterion For Democratic Education Neutrality s Much Needed Place In Dewey s Two-Part Criterion For Democratic Education Taylor Wisneski, Kansas State University Abstract This paper examines methods provided by both John Dewey and Amy Gutmann.

More information

Time and Causation in Gödel s Universe.

Time and Causation in Gödel s Universe. Time and Causation in Gödel s Universe. John L. Bell In 1949 the great logician Kurt Gödel constructed the first mathematical models of the universe in which travel into the past is, in theory at least,

More information

The basic principle is that one should not think of the properties of the process by means of the properties of the product

The basic principle is that one should not think of the properties of the process by means of the properties of the product Bergson Class Notes 1/30/08 Time and Free Will (Chapter 2) Reiterations The basic principle is that one should not think of the properties of the process by means of the properties of the product In general:

More information