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Philosophers

Mortimer Adler
Rogers Albritton
Alexander of Aphrodisias
Samuel Alexander
William Alston
Anaximander
G.E.M.Anscombe
Anselm
Louise Antony
Thomas Aquinas
Aristotle
David Armstrong
Harald Atmanspacher
Robert Audi
Augustine
J.L.Austin
A.J.Ayer
Alexander Bain
Mark Balaguer
Jeffrey Barrett
William Belsham
Henri Bergson
George Berkeley
Isaiah Berlin
Richard J. Bernstein
Bernard Berofsky
Robert Bishop
Max Black
Susanne Bobzien
Emil du Bois-Reymond
Hilary Bok
Laurence BonJour
George Boole
Émile Boutroux
F.H.Bradley
C.D.Broad
Michael Burke
C.A.Campbell
Joseph Keim Campbell
Rudolf Carnap
Carneades
Ernst Cassirer
David Chalmers
Roderick Chisholm
Chrysippus
Cicero
Randolph Clarke
Samuel Clarke
Anthony Collins
Antonella Corradini
Diodorus Cronus
Jonathan Dancy
Donald Davidson
Mario De Caro
Democritus
Daniel Dennett
Jacques Derrida
René Descartes
Richard Double
Fred Dretske
John Dupré
John Earman
Laura Waddell Ekstrom
Epictetus
Epicurus
Herbert Feigl
John Martin Fischer
Owen Flanagan
Luciano Floridi
Philippa Foot
Alfred Fouilleé
Harry Frankfurt
Richard L. Franklin
Michael Frede
Gottlob Frege
Peter Geach
Edmund Gettier
Carl Ginet
Alvin Goldman
Gorgias
Nicholas St. John Green
H.Paul Grice
Ian Hacking
Ishtiyaque Haji
Stuart Hampshire
W.F.R.Hardie
Sam Harris
William Hasker
R.M.Hare
Georg W.F. Hegel
Martin Heidegger
Heraclitus
R.E.Hobart
Thomas Hobbes
David Hodgson
Shadsworth Hodgson
Baron d'Holbach
Ted Honderich
Pamela Huby
David Hume
Ferenc Huoranszki
William James
Lord Kames
Robert Kane
Immanuel Kant
Tomis Kapitan
Jaegwon Kim
William King
Hilary Kornblith
Christine Korsgaard
Saul Kripke
Andrea Lavazza
Keith Lehrer
Gottfried Leibniz
Leucippus
Michael Levin
George Henry Lewes
C.I.Lewis
David Lewis
Peter Lipton
C. Lloyd Morgan
John Locke
Michael Lockwood
E. Jonathan Lowe
John R. Lucas
Lucretius
Alasdair MacIntyre
Ruth Barcan Marcus
James Martineau
Storrs McCall
Hugh McCann
Colin McGinn
Michael McKenna
Brian McLaughlin
John McTaggart
Paul E. Meehl
Uwe Meixner
Alfred Mele
Trenton Merricks
John Stuart Mill
Dickinson Miller
G.E.Moore
Thomas Nagel
Friedrich Nietzsche
John Norton
P.H.Nowell-Smith
Robert Nozick
William of Ockham
Timothy O'Connor
Parmenides
David F. Pears
Charles Sanders Peirce
Derk Pereboom
Steven Pinker
Plato
Karl Popper
Porphyry
Huw Price
H.A.Prichard
Protagoras
Hilary Putnam
Willard van Orman Quine
Frank Ramsey
Ayn Rand
Michael Rea
Thomas Reid
Charles Renouvier
Nicholas Rescher
C.W.Rietdijk
Richard Rorty
Josiah Royce
Bertrand Russell
Paul Russell
Gilbert Ryle
Jean-Paul Sartre
Kenneth Sayre
T.M.Scanlon
Moritz Schlick
Arthur Schopenhauer
John Searle
Wilfrid Sellars
Alan Sidelle
Ted Sider
Henry Sidgwick
Walter Sinnott-Armstrong
J.J.C.Smart
Saul Smilansky
Michael Smith
Baruch Spinoza
L. Susan Stebbing
Isabelle Stengers
George F. Stout
Galen Strawson
Peter Strawson
Eleonore Stump
Francisco Suárez
Richard Taylor
Kevin Timpe
Mark Twain
Peter Unger
Peter van Inwagen
Manuel Vargas
John Venn
Kadri Vihvelin
Voltaire
G.H. von Wright
David Foster Wallace
R. Jay Wallace
W.G.Ward
Ted Warfield
Roy Weatherford
William Whewell
Alfred North Whitehead
David Widerker
David Wiggins
Bernard Williams
Timothy Williamson
Ludwig Wittgenstein
Susan Wolf

Scientists

Michael Arbib
Bernard Baars
Gregory Bateson
John S. Bell
Charles Bennett
Ludwig von Bertalanffy
Susan Blackmore
Margaret Boden
David Bohm
Niels Bohr
Ludwig Boltzmann
Emile Borel
Max Born
Satyendra Nath Bose
Walther Bothe
Hans Briegel
Leon Brillouin
Stephen Brush
Henry Thomas Buckle
S. H. Burbury
Donald Campbell
Anthony Cashmore
Eric Chaisson
Jean-Pierre Changeux
Arthur Holly Compton
John Conway
John Cramer
E. P. Culverwell
Charles Darwin
Terrence Deacon
Louis de Broglie
Max Delbrück
Abraham de Moivre
Paul Dirac
Hans Driesch
John Eccles
Arthur Stanley Eddington
Paul Ehrenfest
Albert Einstein
Hugh Everett, III
Franz Exner
Richard Feynman
R. A. Fisher
Joseph Fourier
Lila Gatlin
Michael Gazzaniga
GianCarlo Ghirardi
J. Willard Gibbs
Nicolas Gisin
Paul Glimcher
Thomas Gold
A.O.Gomes
Brian Goodwin
Joshua Greene
Jacques Hadamard
Patrick Haggard
Stuart Hameroff
Augustin Hamon
Sam Harris
Hyman Hartman
John-Dylan Haynes
Martin Heisenberg
Werner Heisenberg
John Herschel
Jesper Hoffmeyer
E. T. Jaynes
William Stanley Jevons
Roman Jakobson
Pascual Jordan
Ruth E. Kastner
Stuart Kauffman
Martin J. Klein
Simon Kochen
Stephen Kosslyn
Ladislav Kovàč
Rolf Landauer
Alfred Landé
Pierre-Simon Laplace
David Layzer
Benjamin Libet
Seth Lloyd
Hendrik Lorentz
Josef Loschmidt
Ernst Mach
Donald MacKay
Henry Margenau
James Clerk Maxwell
Ernst Mayr
Ulrich Mohrhoff
Jacques Monod
Emmy Noether
Abraham Pais
Howard Pattee
Wolfgang Pauli
Massimo Pauri
Roger Penrose
Steven Pinker
Colin Pittendrigh
Max Planck
Susan Pockett
Henri Poincaré
Daniel Pollen
Ilya Prigogine
Hans Primas
Adolphe Quételet
Juan Roederer
Jerome Rothstein
David Ruelle
Erwin Schrödinger
Aaron Schurger
Claude Shannon
David Shiang
Herbert Simon
Dean Keith Simonton
B. F. Skinner
Roger Sperry
John Stachel
Henry Stapp
Tom Stonier
Antoine Suarez
Leo Szilard
William Thomson (Kelvin)
Peter Tse
Vlatko Vedral
Heinz von Foerster
John von Neumann
John B. Watson
Daniel Wegner
Steven Weinberg
Paul A. Weiss
John Wheeler
Wilhelm Wien
Norbert Wiener
Eugene Wigner
E. O. Wilson
H. Dieter Zeh
Ernst Zermelo
Wojciech Zurek

Presentations

Biosemiotics
Free Will
Mental Causation
James Symposium
 
Method in Philosophical Psychology
Submitted by J. L. Speranza
Harry Frankfurt has become famous for his second-order and higher-order desires. Grice was exploring similar grounds in what came out as his "Method in philosophical psychology" (originally American Philosophical Association presidential address for 1975, now reprinted in "The conception of value"). M. J. Bratman (of Stanford), much influenced by Grice (at Berkeley then) thanks to their "Hands-Across-the-Bay" program, has helped us to understand this 'pirotological' progression towards the idea of strong freedom (Recall that Grice's 'pirots' combine Locke's "very intelligent parrots" with Russell's and Carnap's nonsensical 'pirots' of which nothing we are told other than they 'karulize elatically'.

Grice writes: "My purpose in this section is to give a little thought to the question 'What are the general principles exemplified, in creature-construction, in progressing from one type of pirot to a higher type? What KINDS of steps are being made? The kinds of step with which I shall deal here are those which culminate in a licence to include, within the specification of the content of the psychological state of certain pirots, a range of expressions which would be inappropriate with respect to lower pirots; such expressions include connectives, quantifiers, temporal modifiers, mood indicators, modal operators, and (importantly) names of psychological states like "judge" and "will". Expressions, the availability of which leads to the structural enrichment of specifications of content. ... In general, these steps will be ones by which items or ideas which have, initially, a legitimate place outside the scope of psychological instantiables (or, if you will, the expressions for which occur legitimately outside the scope of psychological verbs) come to have a legitimate place within the scope of such instantiables: steps by which (one might say) such items or ideas come to be internalised. I am disposed to regard as prototypical the sort of natural disposition which Hume attributes to us, and which is very important to him; name, the tendency of the mind 'to spread itself upon objects' to project into the world items which, properly (or primitively) considered, are really features of our states of mind. I shall set out in stages the application of aspects of the genitorial programme.” We then start with a zero-order, with pirots equipped to satisfy unnested judging and willing (i.e. whose contents do _not_ involve judging or willing). We soon reach

Pirot-1. "It would be advantageous to pirots-0 if they could have judging and willing, which relate to their own judging or willing." Such pirots (pirots-1) could be equipped to control or regulate their own judgings and willings. They will presumably be already constituted so as to conform to the law that caeteris paribus if they will that p and judge that ~p, if they can, they make it the case that p in their 'minds'. To give them some control over their judgings and willings, we need only extend the application of this law to their judging and willing. We equip them so that caeteris paribus IF they will that they do not will that p and judge that they do will that p, (if they can) they make it the case that they do NOT will that p. And we somehow ensure that sometimes they CAN do this. It may be that the installation of this kind of control would go hand in had with the installation of the capacity for evaluation."

Pirot-2. Unlike it is the case with a pirot-1, a pirot-2's intentional efforts depend on the motivational strength of its considered desires at the time of action. We have been seeing the process by which conflicting considered desires motivate action as a broadly causal process, a process that reveals motivational strength. But a pirot-2 might itself try to weigh considerations provided by such conflicting desires in deliberation about the pros and cons of various alternatives. In the simplest case, such weighing treats each of the things desired as a prima facie justifying end. In the face of conflict it weighs such desired ends, where the weights correspond to the motivational strength of the associated considered desire. The outcome of such deliberation will match the outcome of the causal motivational process envisioned in our description of a pirot-2. But since the weights it invokes in such deliberation correspond to the motivational strength of the relevant considered desires (though perhaps not to the motivational strength of the relevant considered desires), the resultant activities will match those of a corresponding pirot-2 (*all* of whose desires, we are assuming, are considered). To be more realistic we might limit ourselves to saying that a pirot-2 has the capacity to make the transition from unconsidered to considered desires but does not always do this. But it will keep the discussion more manageable to simplify and to suppose that *all* its desires are considered.

Pirot-3. We shall not want these pirots-2 to depend, in each will and act in ways that reveal the motivational strength of considered desires at the time of action, but for a pirot-3 it will also be true that in some (though not all) cases it acts on the basis of how it weights the ends favoured by its conflicting considered desires. Pirot-3's considered desires will concern matters that cannot be achieved simply by action at a single time. Pirot-3 may, for example, want to nurture a vegetable garden, or build a house. Such matters will require organized and coordinated action that extends over time. What the pirot-3 does now will depend not only on what it now desires but also on what it now expects it will do later given what it does now. It needs a way of settling now what it will do later given what it does now. The point is even clearer when we remind ourselves that pirot-3 is not alone. It is, we may assume, one of some number of pirots-3; and in many cases it needs to coordinate what it does with what other pirots-3 do so as to achieve ends desired by all participants, itself included.

Pirots-4. These costs are magnified for a pirot-4 whose various plans are interwoven so that a change in one element can have significant ripple effects that will need to be considered. Let us suppose that the general strategies pirot-4 has for responding to new information about its circumstances are sensitive to these kinds of costs. Promoting in the long run the satisfaction of its considered desires and preferences. Pirot-4 is a somewhat sophisticated planning agent but it has a problem. It can expect that its desires and preferences may well change over time and undermine its efforts at organizing and coordinating its activities over time. Perhaps in many cases this is due to the kind of temporal discounting. So for example pirot-4 may have a plan to exercise every day but may tend to prefer a sequence of not exercising on the present day but exercising all days in the future, to a uniform sequence the present day included. At the end of the day it returns to its earlier considered preference in favour of exercising on each and every day. Though pirot-4, unlike pirot-3, has the capacity to settle on prior plans or plaices concerning exercise, this capacity does not yet help in such a case. A creature whose plans were stable in ways in part shaped by such a no-regret principle would be more likely than pirot-4 to resist temporary temptations.

Pirot-5. So let us build such a principle into the stability of the plans of a pirot-5, whose plans and policies are not derived solely from facts about its limits of time, attention, and the like. It is also grounded in the central concerns of a planning agent with its own future, concerns that lend special significance to anticipated future regret. So let us add to pirot-5 the capacity and disposition to arrive at such hierarchies of higher-order desires concerning its "will".

Pirot-6. This gives us a new creature, pirot-6. There is a problem with pirot-6, one that has been much discussed. It is not clear why a higher-order desire -- even a higher-order desire that a certain desire be one's "will" -- is not simply one more desire in the pool of desires (Berkeley God's will problem). Why does it have the authority to constitute or ensure the agent's (that is, the creature's) endorsement or rejection of a first-order desire? Applied to pirot-6 this is the question of whether, by virtue solely of its hierarchies of desires, it really does succeed in taking its own stand of endorsement or rejection of various first-order desires. Since it was the ability to take its own stand that we are trying to provide in the move to pirot-6, we need some response to this challenge. The basic point is that pirot-6 is not merely a time-slice agent. It is, rather, and understands itself to be, a temporally persisting planning agent, one who begins, and continues, and completes temporally extended projects. On a broadly Lockean view, its persistence over time consists in relevant psychological continuities (e.g., the persistence of attitudes of belief and intention) and connections (e.g., memory of a past event, or the later intentional execution of an intention formed earlier). Certain attitudes have as a primary role the constitution and support of such Lockean continuities and connections. In particular, policies that favour or reject various desires have it as their role to constitute and support various continuities both of ordinary desires and of the politicos themselves. For this reason such policies are not merely additional wiggles in the psychic stew. Instead, these policies have a claim to help determine where the agent -- i.e., the temporally persisting agent -- stands with respect to its desires. Or so it seems to me reasonable to say.

Pirot-7. So the psychology of pirot-7 continues to have the hierarchical structure of pro-attitudes introduced with pirot-6. The difference is that the higher-order pro-attitudes of pirot-6 were simply characterized as desires in a broad, generic sense, and no appeal was made to the distinctive species of pro-attitude constituted by plan-like attitudes. That is the sense in which the psychology of pirot-7 is an extension of the psychology of pirot-6. Let us then give pirot-7 such higher-order policies with the capacity to take a stand with respect to its desires by arriving at relevant higher-order policies concerning the functioning of those desires over time. Pirot-7 exhibits a merger of hierarchical and planning structures. Appealing to planning theory and ground in connection to the temporally extended structure of agency to be one's "will". Pirot-7 has higher-order policies that favour or challenge motivational roles of its considered desires. When Pirot-7 engages in deliberative weighing of conflicting, desired ends it seems that the assigned weights should reflect the policies that determine where it stands with respect to relevant desires. But the policies we have so far appealed to -- policies concerning what desires are to be one's will -- do not quite address this concern. The problem is that one can in certain cases have policies concerning which desires are to motivate and yet these not be policies that accord what those desires are for a corresponding justifying role in deliberation.

Pirots-8. A solution is to give our creature -- call it pirot-8 -- the capacity to arrive at policies that express its commitment to be motivated by a desire by way of its treatment of that desire as providing, in deliberation, a justifying end for action. Pirot-8 has policies for treating (or not treating) certain desires as providing justifying ends -- as, in this way, reason-providing -- in motivationally effective deliberation. Let us call such policies self-governing policies. We will suppose that these policies are mutually compatible and do not challenge each other. In this way pirot-8 involves an extension of structures already present in pirot-7. The grounds on which pirot-8 arrives at (and on occasion revises) such self-governing policies will be many and varied. We can see these policies as crystallizing complex pressures and concerns, some of which are grounded in other policies or desires. These self-governing policies may be tentative and will normally not be immune to change. If we ask what pirot-8 values in this case, the answer seems to be: what it values is constituted in part by its higher-order self-governing policies. In particular, it values exercise over nonexercise even right now, and even given that it has a considered (though temporary) preference to the contrary. Unlike lower pirots, what pirot-8 now values is not simply a matter of its present, considered desires and preferences. Now this model of pirot-8 seems in relevant aspects to be a (partial) model of us. (in our better moments, of course). So we arrive at the conjecture that one important kind of valuing of which we are capable involves, in the cited ways, both our first-order desires and our higher order self-governing policies. In an important sub-class of cases our valuing involves reflexive polices that are both first-order policies of action and higher-order policies to treat the first-order policy as reason providing in motivationally effective deliberation. This may seem odd. Valuing seems normally to be a first-order attitude. One values honesty, say. The proposal is that an important kind of valuing involves higher-order policies. Does this mean that, strictly speaking, what one values (in this sense) is itself a desire -- not honesty, say, but a desire for honesty? No, it does not. What I value in the present case is honesty; but, on the theory, my valuing honesty in art consists in certain higher-order self-governing policies. An agent's reflective valuing involves a kind of higher-order willing.

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