While the world sees increasing transnational activity with its attendant cross-border social and economic dependencies, we continue to cling to an aging Westphalian model of international relations. Free Trade Agreements are negotiated and struck between sovereign states with little regard to further-reaching implications. When we consider a proposed Agreement between the EU and India, and what that could potentially mean for Least Developed Countries dependent on Indian-produced pharmaceuticals, we become acutely aware of the need for a moral framework to guide such transnational interactions. Moving away from a state-centred approach to normative concerns on the global field, I propose that the morally relevant units be functionally delineated based on the spheres of influence of global institutional structures, such as the international trade regime. With this shift in focus, I argue that the existing dependency of impoverished nations on Indian pharmaceuticals places morally significant constraints on the EU-India Trade negotiations.
I compare William James’ and Friedrich Nietzsche’s construals of consciousness and will, two of the core notions in both philosophy and psychology. I delineate the elements significant in their respective accounts of the two notions, and show that there are significant parallels in their views. An appreciation of the affinities in James’ and Nietzsche’s construals of consciousness and will facilitates an appreciation of their remarkably parallel contributions in both philosophy and psychology. It also enhances an appreciation of James as a philosopher with a rich background and expertise in psychology, and an appreciation of Nietzsche as an original, important philosopher-psychologist. Furthermore, the parallels I will have drawn between their views may provide materials with which to appreciate and substantiate the construal of a strand in contemporary psychology that is philosophically informed, and which embraces a radical version of empiricism that is rid of the dogmas found in traditional empiricism.
Expressivist theories of moral discourse deny that moral judgments express truth-apt propositions or that they correspond to moral facts. Rather, moral judgments are taken to express non-truth-apt and action-guiding attitudes of approval or disapproval. As a result, the classical accounts of validity, consistency and logical consequence cannot be directly applied to moral discourse. These logical limitations are exploited by the Frege-Geach embedding problem, which challenges expressivism to account for the fact that moral sentences can be embedded into truth-functional contexts, and that they can figure as premises in valid arguments. This thesis examines the embedding problem in detail, and analyzes two prominent expressivist responses to it: Simon Blackburn's logic of attitudes, and Allan Gibbard's normative logic. It will be argued that neither response presents a complete solution to the embedding problem. Then some alternative proposals will be investigated.
This essay offers an analysis of the logical structure of classical metaphysics, with respect to its ontological, epistemological, and ethical assumptions; a consideration of the resilience of this structure, three means by which its critics have countered that resilience, and two errors of excess to which those means have led; and a brief discussion of the philosophical tradition's turn from metaphysics to science and government, and of the conversational tradition at its origin.
Jerry Fodor’s modularity theory holds that psychological processes behind basic perception have a property called informational encapsulation that preserves a consistency of experience across individuals and over time. Encapsulation keeps basic perception fixed, mechanical, insulated, and leaves it largely unalterable by the variability of higher-level cognition, as in acquired beliefs, knowledge, imagination, memory, and individual learning. However, encapsulation conflicts with mounting evidence that perceptual processes are sensitive to higher-level cognition under specific conditions. In this thesis, I will argue that modularity cannot adequately account for certain findings about perceptual experience. I will then propose an alternative theory of ‘holistic information transfer’, ‘cognitive information taps’, and ‘adaptive automations’ that accommodates the empirical literature behind observed cases of perceptual plasticity and accounts for the apparent implasticity that motivates modularity theory. Instead of encapsulated modules, we can conceive of perceptual systems as experientially reinforced cognitive subsystems amidst an informationally integrated cognition.
The thesis of this paper is that no real distinction obtains between property possession and identity. To justify this thesis, I argue against two views I call Exteriorism and Interiorism, I argue for an account of property possession and identity according to which they are one and the same relation, and I respond to a wide variety of objections to that account.
The study of modal logic often starts with that of unary operators applied to sentences, denoting some notions of necessity or possibility. However, we adopt a more general approach in this dissertation. We begin with object languages that possess multi-ary modal operators, and interpret them in relational semantics, neighbourhood semantics and algebraic semantics. Some topics on this subject have been investigated by logicians for some time, and we present a survey of their results. But there remain areas to be explored, and we examine them in order to gain more knowledge of our territory. More specifically, we propose polyadic modal axioms that correspond to seriality, reflexivity, symmetry, transitivity and euclideanness of multi-ary relations, and prove soundness and completeness of normal systems based on these axioms. We also put forward polyadic classical systems determined by classes of neighbourhood frames of finite types such as superset-closed frames, quasi-filtroids and filtroids. Equivalences between categories of modal algebras and categories of relational frames and neighbourhood frames are demonstrated. Furthermore some of the systems studied in this dissertation are shown to be translationally equivalent. While the first part of our study is purely formal, we take a different route in the second part. The multi-ary modal operators, previously interpreted in classes of mathematical structures, are given meanings in ordinary discourse. We read them as modalities in normative thinking, for instance, as the ``ought'' when we say ``you ought to visit your parents, or at least call them if you cannot visit them''. A series of polyadic modal logics, called systems of deontic residuation, are proposed. They represent real-life situations involving, for example, normative conflicts and contrary-to-duty obligations better than traditional deontic logics based on unary modal operators do.
Mainstream contemporary linguistics is founded on Saussure's assumption that linguists must abstract away from all variation in conversation from an assumed linguistic norm, since such variation is a product of language-external influences that interfere with the natural homogenizing effect of language. Saussure and his followers are keen to apply this method to language because it forms the basis of nearly all successful physical science. However, the structure of conversation is such that novel variation can affect the basis of further variation, however locally and however minutely. This makes conversation more akin to the subject matter of biology than that of the physical sciences. For this reason, linguistics might profit from setting aside the method of physical science and adopting instead the method of biology, in which variation and difference are assumed to be of theoretical importance.