The Domain of Reasons


Author: John Skorupski
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 019165163X
Category: Philosophy
Page: 558
View: 3581

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This book is about normativity and reasons. By the end, however, the subject becomes the relation between self, thought, and world. If we understand normativity, we are on the road to understanding this relation. John Skorupski argues that all normative properties are reducible to reason relations, so that the sole normative ingredient in any normative concept is the concept of a reason. This is a concept fundamental to all thought. It is pervasive (actions, beliefs, and sentiments all fall within its range), primitive (all other normative concepts are reducible to it), and constitutive of the idea of thought itself. Thinking is sensitivity to reasons. Thought in the full sense of autonomous cognition is possible only for a being sensitive to reasons and capable of deliberating about them. In Part II of the book Skorupski examines epistemic reasons, and shows that aprioricity, necessity, evidence, and probability, which may not seem to be normative at all, are in fact normative concepts analysable in terms of the concept of a reason. In Part III he shows the same for the concept of a person's good, and for moral concepts including the concept of a right. Part IV moves to the epistemology and metaphysics of reasons. When we make claims about reasons to believe, reasons to feel, or reasons to act we are asserting genuine propositions: judgeable, truth-apt contents. But these normative propositions must be distinguished from factual propositions, for they do not represent states of affairs. So Skorupski's ambitious theory of normativity has broad and deep implications for philosophy. It shows how reflection on the logic, epistemology, and ontology of reasons finally leads us to an account of the interplay of self, thought, and world.

The Domain of Reasons


Author: John Skorupski
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199587639
Category: Philosophy
Page: 525
View: 4112

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This book is about normativity and reasons. But by the end the subject becomes the relation between self, thought and world. Skorupski argues that the key concepts of epistemology and moral theory are normative concepts, and that what makes them normative is that they depend on reasons. The concept of a reason is fundamental to all thought.

The Domain of Reasons


Author: John Skorupski
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 9780199587636
Category: Philosophy
Page: 560
View: 1911

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This book is about normativity and reasons. But by the end the subject becomes the relation between self, thought and world. Skorupski argues that the key concepts of epistemology and moral theory are normative concepts, and that what makes them normative is that they depend on reasons. The concept of a reason is fundamental to all thought.

The Authority of Reason


Author: Jean E. Hampton,Richard Healey
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521556149
Category: Philosophy
Page: 310
View: 3521

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This challenging and provocative book argues against much contemporary orthodoxy in philosophy and the social sciences by showing why objectivity in the domain of ethics is really no different from the objectivity of scientific knowledge. Many philosophers and social scientists have challenged the idea that we act for objectively authoritative reasons. Jean Hampton takes up the challenge by undermining two central assumptions of this contemporary orthodoxy: that one can understand instrumental reasons without appeal to objective authority, and that the adoption of the scientific world view requires no such appeal. In the course of the book Jean Hampton examines moral realism, the general nature of reason and norms, internalism and externalism, instrumental reasoning, and the expected utility model of practical reasoning. The book is sure to prove to be a seminal work in the theory of rationality that will be read by a broad swathe of philosophers and social scientists.

Media of Reason

A Theory of Rationality
Author: Matthias Vogel
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231527756
Category: Philosophy
Page: 400
View: 2179

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Matthias Vogel challenges the belief, dominant in contemporary philosophy, that reason is determined solely by our discursive, linguistic abilities as communicative beings. In his view, the medium of language is not the only force of reason. Music, art, and other nonlinguistic forms of communication and understanding are also significant. Introducing an expansive theory of mind that accounts for highly sophisticated, penetrative media, Vogel advances a novel conception of rationality while freeing philosophy from its exclusive attachment to linguistics. Vogel's media of reason treats all kinds of understanding and thought, propositional and nonpropositional, as important to the processes and production of knowledge and thinking. By developing an account of rationality grounded in a new conception of media, he raises the profile of the prelinguistic and nonlinguistic dimensions of rationality and advances the Enlightenment project, buffering it against the postmodern critique that the movement fails to appreciate aesthetic experience. Guided by the work of Jürgen Habermas, Donald Davidson, and a range of media theorists, including Marshall McLuhan, Vogel rebuilds, if he does not remake, the relationship among various forms of media—books, movies, newspapers, the Internet, and television—while offering an original and exciting contribution to media theory.

Being Realistic about Reasons


Author: T. M. Scanlon
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 019100314X
Category: Philosophy
Page: 160
View: 7713

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T. M. Scanlon offers a qualified defense of normative cognitivism—the view that there are irreducibly normative truths about reasons for action. He responds to three familiar objections: that such truths would have troubling metaphysical implications; that we would have no way of knowing what they are; and that the role of reasons in motivating and explaining action could not be explained if accepting a conclusion about reasons for action were a kind of belief. Scanlon answers the first of these objections within a general account of ontological commitment, applying to mathematics as well as normative judgments. He argues that the method of reflective equilibrium, properly understood, provides an adequate account of how we come to know both normative truths and mathematical truths, and that the idea of a rational agent explains the link between an agent's normative beliefs and his or her actions. Whether every statement about reasons for action has a determinate truth value is a question to be answered by an overall account of reasons for action, in normative terms. Since it seems unlikely that there is such an account, the defense of normative cognitivism offered here is qualified: statements about reasons for action can have determinate truth values, but it is not clear that all of them do. Along the way, Scanlon offers an interpretation of the distinction between normative and non-normative claims, a new account of the supervenience of the normative on the non-normative, an interpretation of the idea of the relative strength of reasons, and a defense of the method of reflective equilibrium.

Spheres of Reason

New Essays in the Philosophy of Normativity
Author: Simon Robertson
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199572933
Category: Philosophy
Page: 223
View: 8166

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Spheres of Reason comprises nine new articles on the philosophy of normativity, written by a combination of internationally renowned and up-and-coming philosophers working at the forefront of the topic. Normativity concerns norms, requirements, oughts, reasons, reasoning, rationality, justification, value. Such notions play a central role in both everyday thought and philosophical enquiry. As well as exploring traditional and ongoing issues, these essaysdevelop new approaches to and perspectives in the field. Notably, they make a timely and distinctive contribution to our understanding of how normative thought may or may not be unified across the spheres of actions, belief and feeling. With an editor's introduction providing a comprehensive and accessiblebackground to the subject, Spheres of Reason is essential reading for anyone interested in the nature of normativity and the bearing it has on human thought.

Between Reason and Experience

Essays in Technology and Modernity
Author: Andrew Feenberg,Michel Callon
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262265656
Category: Technology & Engineering
Page: 284
View: 3010

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The technologies, markets, and administrations of today's knowledge society are in crisis. We face recurring disasters in every domain: climate change, energy shortages, economic meltdown. The system is broken, despite everything the technocrats claim to know about science, technology, and economics. These problems are exacerbated by the fact that today powerful technologies have unforeseen effects that disrupt everyday life; the new masters of technology are not restrained by the lessons of experience, and accelerate change to the point where society is in constant turmoil. In Between Reason and Experience, leading philosopher of technology Andrew Feenberg makes a case for the interdependence of reason--scientific knowledge, technical rationality--and experience. Feenberg examines different aspects of the tangled relationship between technology and society from the perspective of critical theory of technology, an approach he has pioneered over the past twenty years. Feenberg points to two examples of democratic interventions into technology: the Internet (in which user initiative has influenced design) and the environmental movement (in which science coordinates with protest and policy). He examines methodological applications of critical theory of technology to the case of the French Minitel computing network and to the relationship between national culture and technology in Japan. Finally, Feenberg considers the philosophies of technology of Heidegger, Habermas, Latour, and Marcuse. The gradual extension of democracy into the technical sphere, Feenberg argues, is one of the great political transformations of our time.

Genealogies of Religion

Discipline and Reasons of Power in Christianity and Islam
Author: Talal Asad
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 0801895936
Category: Religion
Page: 344
View: 7019

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In Geneologies of Religion, Talal Asad explores how religion as a historical category emerged in the West and has come to be applied as a universal concept. The idea that religion has undergone a radical change since the Christian Reformation—from totalitarian and socially repressive to private and relatively benign—is a familiar part of the story of secularization. It is often invokved to explain and justify the liberal politics and world view of modernity. And it leads to the view that "politicized religions" threaten both reason and liberty. Asad's essays explore and question all these assumptions. He argues that "religion" is a construction of European modernity, a construction that authorizes—for Westerners and non-Westerners alike—particular forms of "history making." -- James R. Wood

Molecular Biology of the Cell


Author: Bruce Alberts
Publisher: Garland Science
ISBN: 1317563743
Category: Science
Page: 1464
View: 9475

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As the amount of information in biology expands dramatically, it becomes increasingly important for textbooks to distill the vast amount of scientific knowledge into concise principles and enduring concepts.As with previous editions, Molecular Biology of the Cell, Sixth Edition accomplishes this goal with clear writing and beautiful illustrations. The Sixth Edition has been extensively revised and updated with the latest research in the field of cell biology, and it provides an exceptional framework for teaching and learning. The entire illustration program has been greatly enhanced.Protein structures better illustrate structure–function relationships, icons are simpler and more consistent within and between chapters, and micrographs have been refreshed and updated with newer, clearer, or better images. As a new feature, each chapter now contains intriguing openended questions highlighting “What We Don’t Know,” introducing students to challenging areas of future research. Updated end-of-chapter problems reflect new research discussed in the text, and these problems have been expanded to all chapters by adding questions on developmental biology, tissues and stem cells, pathogens, and the immune system.

The Enigma of Reason


Author: Hugo Mercier,Dan Sperber
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674368304
Category: Philosophy
Page: 408
View: 8078

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If reason is so useful and reliable, why didn’t it evolve in other animals and why do humans produce so much thoroughly reasoned nonsense? Hugo Mercier and Dan Sperber argue that reason is not geared to solitary use. It evolved to help justify our beliefs to others, evaluate their arguments, and better exploit our uniquely rich social environment.

Epistemic Authority

A Theory of Trust, Authority, and Autonomy in Belief
Author: Linda Trinkaus Zagzebski
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190278269
Category:
Page: 296
View: 9297

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In this book Linda Trinkaus Zagzebski gives an extended argument that the self-reflective person is committed to belief on authority. Epistemic authority is compatible with autonomy, but epistemic self-reliance is incoherent. She argues that epistemic and emotional self-trust are rational and inescapable, that consistent self-trust commits us to trust in others, and that among those we are committed to trusting are some whom we ought to treat as epistemic authorities, modeled on the well-known principles of authority of Joseph Raz. Some of these authorities can be in the moral and religious domains. Why have people for thousands of years accepted epistemic authority in religious communities? A religious community's justification for authority is typically based on beliefs unique to that community. Unfortunately, that often means that from the community's perspective, its justifying claims are insulated from the outside; whereas from an outside perspective, epistemic authority in the community appears unjustified. But as Zagzebski's argument shows, an individual's acceptance of authority in her community can be justified by principles that outsiders accept, and the particular beliefs justified by that authority are not immune to external critiques.

Domain-driven Design

Tackling Complexity in the Heart of Software
Author: Eric Evans
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
ISBN: 0321125215
Category: Computers
Page: 529
View: 6172

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Describes ways to incorporate domain modeling into software development.

Enlightenment Now

The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress
Author: Steven Pinker
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 0525427570
Category: Psychology
Page: 556
View: 4384

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An assessment of the human condition in the twenty-first century presents data demonstrating that life quality, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise throughout the world because of the Enlightenment ideal of using reason and science.

Persons, Interests, and Justice


Author: Nils Holtug
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199580170
Category: Philosophy
Page: 356
View: 9796

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In our lives, we aim to achieve welfare for ourselves, that is, to live good lives. But we also have another, more impartial perspective, where we aim to balance our concern for our own welfare against a concern for the welfare of others. This is a perspective of justice. Nils Holtug examines these two perspectives and the relations between them. The first part of the book is concerned with prudence; more precisely, with what the necessary and sufficient conditions are for having a self-interest in a particular benefit. It includes discussions of the extent to which self-interest depends on preferences, personal identity, and what matters in survival. It also considers the issue of whether it can benefit (or harm) a person to come into existence and what the implications are for our theory of self-interest. A 'prudential view' is defended, according to which a person has a present self-interest in a future benefit if and only if she stands in a relation of continuous physical realization of (appropriate) psychology to the beneficiary, where the strength of the self-interest depends both on the size of the benefit and on the strength of this relation. The second part of the book concerns distributive justice and so how to distribute welfare or self-interest fulfilment over individuals. It includes discussions of welfarism, egalitarianism and prioritarianism, population ethics, the importance of personal identity and what matters for distributive justice, and the importance of all these issues for various topics in applied ethics, including the badness of death. Here, a version of prioritarianism is defended, according to which, roughly, the moral value of a benefit to an individual at a time depends on both the size of the benefit and on the individual's self-interest, at that time, in the other benefits that accrue to her at this and other times.

Takings

Private Property and the Power of Eminent Domain
Author: Richard Allen EPSTEIN,Richard Allen Epstein
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674036557
Category: Law
Page: 376
View: 1481

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If legal scholar Richard Epstein is right, then the New Deal is wrong, if not unconstitutional. Epstein develops a coherent normative theory that permits us to distinguish between permissible takings for public use and impermissible ones. He then examines a wide range of government regulations and taxes under a single comprehensive theory.

Critique of Practical Reason


Author: Immanuel Kant,Thomas Kingsmill Abbott
Publisher: Courier Corporation
ISBN: 9780486434452
Category: Philosophy
Page: 172
View: 772

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The second of Kant’s three critiques, Critique of Practical Reason forms the center of Kantian philosophy. Kant establishes his role as a vindicator of the truth of Christianity in this work, published in 1788, and he approaches his proof by presenting positive affirmations of the immortality of the soul and the existence of God. The philosopher offers an argument concerning the summum bonum of life: people should not simply search after happiness, but follow the moral law and seek to become worthy of the happiness that God can bestow. This seminal text in the history of moral philosophy offers the most complete statement of Kant’s theory of free will and a full development of his practical metaphysics.

Does Anything Really Matter?

Essays on Parfit on Objectivity
Author: Peter Singer
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0191084395
Category: Philosophy
Page: 288
View: 2460

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In the first two volumes of On What Matters Derek Parfit argues that there are objective moral truths, and other normative truths about what we have reasons to believe, and to want, and to do. He thus challenges a view of the role of reason in action that can be traced back to David Hume, and is widely assumed to be correct, not only by philosophers but also by economists. In defending his view, Parfit argues that if there are no objective normative truths, nihilism follows, and nothing matters. He criticizes, often forcefully, many leading contemporary philosophers working on the nature of ethics, including Simon Blackburn, Stephen Darwall, Allen Gibbard, Frank Jackson, Peter Railton, Mark Schroeder, Michael Smith, and Sharon Street. Does Anything Really Matter? gives these philosophers an opportunity to respond to Parfit's criticisms, and includes essays on Parfit's views by Richard Chappell, Andrew Huddleston, Katarzyna de Lazari-Radek and Peter Singer, Bruce Russell, and Larry Temkin. A third volume of On What Matters, in which Parfit engages with his critics and breaks new ground in finding significant agreement between his own views and theirs, is appearing as a separate companion volume.

Realizing Reason

A Narrative of Truth and Knowing
Author: Danielle Macbeth
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191022756
Category: Philosophy
Page: 496
View: 2335

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Realizing Reason pursues three interrelated themes. First, it traces the essential moments in the historical unfolding—from the ancient Greeks, through Descartes, Kant, and developments in the nineteenth century, to the present—that culminates in the realization of pure reason as a power of knowing. Second, it provides a cogent account of mathematical practice as a mode of inquiry into objective truth. And finally, it develops and defends a new conception of our being in the world, one that builds on and transforms the now standard conception according to which our experience of reality arises out of brain activity due, in part, to merely causal impacts on our sense organs. Danielle Macbeth shows that to achieve an adequate understanding of the striving for truth in the exact sciences we must overcome this standard conception and that the way to do that is through a more adequate understanding of the nature of mathematical practice and the profound transformations it has undergone over the course of its history, the history through which reason is first realized as a power of knowing. Because we can understand mathematical practice only if we attend to the systems of written signs within which to do mathematics, Macbeth provides an account of the nature and role of written notations, specifically, of the principal systems that have been developed within which to reason in mathematics: Euclidean diagrams, the symbolic language of arithmetic and algebra, and Frege's concept-script, Begriffsschrift.

The Social Life of Books

Reading Together in the Eighteenth-Century Home
Author: Abigail Williams
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300208294
Category: History
Page: 368
View: 3030

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A vivid exploration of the evolution of reading as an essential social and domestic activity during the eighteenth century Two centuries before the advent of radio, television, and motion pictures, books were a cherished form of popular entertainment and an integral component of domestic social life. In this fascinating and vivid history, Abigail Williams explores the ways in which shared reading shaped the lives and literary culture of the time, offering new perspectives on how books have been used by their readers, and the part they have played in middle-class homes and families. Drawing on marginalia, letters and diaries, library catalogues, elocution manuals, subscription lists, and more, Williams offers fresh and fascinating insights into reading, performance, and the history of middle-class home life.