Author: Uri D. Leibowitz
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2016-06-02
How far should our realism extend? For many years philosophers of mathematics and philosophers of ethics have worked independently to address the question of how best to understand the entities apparently referred to by mathematical and ethical talk. But the similarities between their endeavours are not often emphasised. This book provides that emphasis. In particular, it focuses on two types of argumentative strategies that have been deployed in both areas:debunking arguments, and indispensability arguments. Explanation in Ethics and Mathematics considers how argumentative strategies in the philosophy of mathematics might apply to the philosophy of ethics,and vice versa. The papers collected here break new ground in both areas, and illuminate new questions, arguments, and problems of interest to scholars working on realism in any area.
Author: Hilary PUTNAM
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Release Date: 2004
In this brief book one of the most distinguished living American philosophers takes up the question of whether ethical judgments can properly be considered objective--a question that has vexed philosophers over the past century. Reviewing what he deems the disastrous consequences of ontology's influence on analytic philosophy--in particular, the contortions it imposes upon debates about the objective of ethical judgments--Putnam proposes abandoning the very idea of ontology.
Author: Douglas Cairns
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
Release Date: 2007-11-21
This volume, the fourth in the Edinburgh Leventis Studies series, comprises a selection of papers from the conference held in Edinburgh March 2005 in conjunction with Professor Terry Penner's tenure of the A. G. Leventis Visiting Research Chair in Greek. It brings together contributions from leading Plato scholars from Britain, Europe and North America on a closely defined topic central to Plato's thought and to Ancient Philosophy--Plato's Form of the Good. The importance of the collection lies in the combination and presentation in one place of a range of different approaches to the good in Plato's Republic, and different solutions to the problems posed and proposed by these approaches. The two central issues, which form an underlying thread throughout the collection, are: first whether Plato's Republic is centred on what is good for individual humans, or on some quasi-moral good; and secondly, what the Form of the Good is. Pursuing the Good goes beyond recent studies in the field, and will appeal to classicists and philosophers alike. To the advanced student, it represents a wide-ranging introduction to central issues of Plato's philosophy; for the academic it will provide stimulus through antithetical and controversial solutions to questions old and new.
Author: Robert Merrihew Adams
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 1999-07-29
Renowned scholar Robert Adams explores the relation between religion and ethics through a comprehensive philosophical account of a theistically-based framework for ethics. Adams' framework begins with the good rather than the right, and with excellence rather than usefulness. He argues that loving the excellent, of which adoring God is a clear example, is the most fundamental aspect of a life well lived. Developing his original and detailed theory, Adams contends that devotion, the sacred, grace, martyrdom, worship, vocation, faith, and other concepts drawn from religious ethics have been sorely overlooked in moral philosophy and can enrich the texture of ethical thought.
Author: J.C. Harsanyi
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
Release Date: 2012-12-06
Genre: Social Science
When John Harsanyi came to Stanford University as a candidate for the Ph.D., I asked him why he was bothering, since it was most un likely that he had anything to learn from us. He was already a known scho lar; in addition to some papers in economics, the first two papers in this vol ume had already been published and had dazzled me by their originality and their combination of philosophical insight and technical competence. However, I am very glad I did not discourage him; whether he learned any thing worthwhile I don't know, but we all learned much from him on the foundations of the theory of games and specifically on the outcome of bar gaining. The central focus of Harsanyi's work has continued to be in the theory of games, but especially on the foundations and conceptual problems. The theory of games, properly understood, is a very broad approach to social interaction based on individually rational behavior, and it connects closely with fundamental methodological and substantive issues in social science and in ethics. An indication of the range of Harsanyi's interest in game the ory can be found in the first paper of Part B -though in fact his owncontri butions are much broader-and in the second paper the applications to the methodology of social science. The remaining papers in that section show more specifically the richness of game theory in specific applications.
Author: David Copp
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2005-12-22
The Oxford Handbook of Ethical Theory is a major new reference work in ethical theory consisting of commissioned essays by leading moral philosophers. Ethical theories have always been of central importance to philosophy, and remain so; ethical theory is one of the most active areas of philosophical research and teaching today. Courses in ethics are taught in colleges and universities at all levels, and ethical theory is the organizing principle for all of them. The Handbook is divided into two parts, mirroring the field. The first part treats meta-ethical theory, which deals with theoretical questions about morality and moral judgment, including questions about moral language, the epistemology of moral belief, the truth aptness of moral claims, and so forth. The second part addresses normative theory, which deals with general moral issues, including the plausibility of various ethical theories and abstract principles of behavior. Examples of such theories are consequentialism and virtue theory. As with other Oxford Handbooks, the twenty-five contributors cover the field in a comprehensive and highly accessible way, while achieving three goals: exposition of central ideas, criticism of other approaches, and putting forth a distinct viewpoint.
No one disputes how important it is, in today's world, to prepare students to un derstand mathematics as well as to use and communicate mathematics in their future lives. That task is very difficult, however. Refocusing curricula on funda mental concepts, producing new teaching materials, and designing teaching units based on 'mathematicians' common sense' (or on logic) have not resulted in a better understanding of mathematics by more students. The failure of such efforts has raised questions suggesting that what was missing at the outset of these proposals, designs, and productions was a more profound knowledge of the phenomena of learning and teaching mathematics in socially established and culturally, politically, and economically justified institutions - namely, schools. Such knowledge cannot be built by mere juxtaposition of theories in disci plines such as psychology, sociology, and mathematics. Psychological theories focus on the individual learner. Theories of sociology of education look at the general laws of curriculum development, the specifics of pedagogic discourse as opposed to scientific discourse in general, the different possible pedagogic rela tions between the teacher and the taught, and other general problems in the inter face between education and society. Mathematics, aside from its theoretical contents, can be looked at from historical and epistemological points of view, clarifying the genetic development of its concepts, methods, and theories. This view can shed some light on the meaning of mathematical concepts and on the difficulties students have in teaching approaches that disregard the genetic development of these concepts.
Author: Scott M. James
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Release Date: 2010-11-23
Offering the first general introductory text to this subject, the timely Introduction to Evolutionary Ethics reflects the most up-to-date research and current issues being debated in both psychology and philosophy. The book presents students to the areas of cognitive psychology, normative ethics, and metaethics. The first general introduction to evolutionary ethics Provides a comprehensive survey of work in three distinct areas of research: cognitive psychology, normative ethics, and metaethics Presents the most up-to-date research available in both psychology and philosophy Written in an engaging and accessible style for undergraduates and the interested general reader Discusses the evolution of morality, broadening its relevance to those studying psychology
Author: John J. Cleary
Release Date: 1995
This book examines Aristotle's critical reaction to the mathematical cosmology of Plato's Academy, and traces the aporetic method by which he developed his own cosmological and metaphysical views, which underpin his philosophy of mathematics.
Do numbers and the other objects of mathematics enjoy a timeless existence independent of human minds, or are they the products of cerebral invention? Do we discover them, as Plato supposed and many others have believed since, or do we construct them? Does the physical world actually obey mathematical laws, or does it seem to conform to them simply because physicists have increasingly been able to make mathematical sense of it? Does mathematics constitute a universal language that in principle would permit human beings to communicate with extraterrestrial civilizations elsewhere in the universe, or is it merely an earthly language that owes its accidental existence to the peculiar evolution of neuronal networks in our brains? Jean-Pierre Changeux, an internationally renowned neurobiologist, and Alain Connes, one of the most eminent living mathematicians, find themselves deeply divided by these questions. Why order should exist in the world at all, and why it should be comprehensible to human beings, is the question that lies at the heart of these remarkable dialogues.
Author: Thomas Nagel
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2012-10-01
The modern materialist approach to life has conspicuously failed to explain such central mind-related features of our world as consciousness, intentionality, meaning, and value. This failure to account for something so integral to nature as mind, argues philosopher Thomas Nagel, is a major problem, threatening to unravel the entire naturalistic world picture, extending to biology, evolutionary theory, and cosmology. Since minds are features of biological systems that have developed through evolution, the standard materialist version of evolutionary biology is fundamentally incomplete. And the cosmological history that led to the origin of life and the coming into existence of the conditions for evolution cannot be a merely materialist history, either. An adequate conception of nature would have to explain the appearance in the universe of materially irreducible conscious minds, as such. Nagel's skepticism is not based on religious belief or on a belief in any definite alternative. In Mind and Cosmos, he does suggest that if the materialist account is wrong, then principles of a different kind may also be at work in the history of nature, principles of the growth of order that are in their logical form teleological rather than mechanistic. In spite of the great achievements of the physical sciences, reductive materialism is a world view ripe for displacement. Nagel shows that to recognize its limits is the first step in looking for alternatives, or at least in being open to their possibility.
Normative ethical theories generally purport to be explanatory—to tell us not just what is good, or what conduct is right, but why. Drawing on both historical and contemporary approaches, Mark Schroeder offers a distinctive picture of how such explanations must work, and of the specific commitments that they incur. According to Schroeder, explanatory moral theories can be perfectly general only if they are reductive, offering accounts of what it is for something to be good, right, or what someone ought to do. So ambitious, highly general normative ethical theorizing is continuous with metaethical inquiry. Moreover, he argues that such explanatory theories face a special challenge in accounting for reasons or obligations that are universally shared, and develops an autonomy-based strategy for meeting this challenge, in the case of requirements of rationality. Explaining the Reasons We Share pulls together over a decade of work by one of the leading figures in contemporary metaethics. One new and ten previously published papers weave together treatments of reasons, reduction, supervenience, instrumental rationality, and legislation, to paint a sharp contrast between two plausible but competing pictures of the nature and limits of moral explanation—one from Cudworth and one indebted to Kant. A substantive new introduction provides a map to reading these essays as a unified argument, and qualifies their conclusions in light of Schroeder's current views. Along with its sister volume, Expressing Our Attitudes, this volume advances the theme that metaethical inquiry is continuous with other areas of philosophy.