Browsing by Author "Macbeth, Danielle"
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- ItemA Case for Teleology in Modern Biology(2016) Wenzel, Miwa; Macbeth, DanielleAlthough teleology, or explanations in terms of goals or ends, has historically been integrated in biology, within the past few hundred years, mechanistic explanations have dominated the field and teleology has largely fallen out of favor. A prominent advocate for the dismissal of teleology in biology is evolutionary biologist Ernst Mayr (1904-2005) who proposed teleonomy, or explanations of goals or ends as directed by a program, to be the proper way to understand biological processes and development of organisms. However, if we undertake Mayr’s teleonomy instead of teleology, we are essentially left with biological reductionism and see living beings as complicated machines. If this is the case, we lose an understanding of what counts as a successful organism and therefore cannot speak of mutations or improper development in organisms. Thus, I suggest that we need to understand living beings for what they are and invoke Michael Thompson’s notion of life form which suggests that living beings are distinguished from non-living artefacts insofar as they have a life form that encapsulates their capacities and activities beyond immediate response to being merely affected by their environment. I argue that this life form is the irreducible potential that Alan Gotthelf claims defines Aristotelian teleology and is what ultimately separates living beings from non-living artefacts, thus refuting Mayr’s concept of teleonomy as a prominent understanding in biology, and bringing back Aristotelian teleology in individual organisms.
- ItemA Defense of Nonconceptual Contents(2012) Wingfield, Elizabeth; Franco, Paul; Macbeth, DanielleThe debate over whether perceptual experience includes nonconceptual contents is not only an interesting problem in itself, but has important bearings on other questions in philosophy, especially epistemology and philosophy of mind. The contemporary debate has two sides. On one side, philosophers such as John McDowell think that all perception is necessarily conceptual. On the other side, philosophers such as Christopher Peacocke think that not only are there nonconceptual contents in our perceptions but that these contents ground our knowledge claims. In this paper I first outline the arguments and the motivations McDowell and Peacocke advance in favor of their views. I then argue that both sides, to one extent or another, get it right. I argue that McDowell is correct to insist that nonconceptual contents do not play a role in knowledge but that Peacocke is nonetheless correct in stating that nonconceptual contents are a part of our perceptual lives. I argue that while nonconceptual contents are a rich part of our sensory awareness, it would be untenable to state that they play a role in our knowledge acquisition. In the concluding section I explain why a robust characterization of the nonconceptual contents I defend is in principle an impossible task.
- ItemA Game of Paradoxes and Skepticism: Language & Cognition in Ludwig Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations(2006) Matsumoto, Erica; Macbeth, Danielle
- ItemA Reconstitution of Virtue for a World after Virtue(1994) Abu El-Haj, Tabetha; Outlaw, Lucius T., 1944-; Macbeth, Danielle
- ItemActing in Character: A Re-examination of the Hekousion in Aristotle(2008) Reuter, George; Sharma, Ravi; Macbeth, Danielle
- ItemAristotle on Epistemic Justification and Embodied Understanding(2017) Stevens, Griffin; Macbeth, DanielleThis paper seeks to dissolve the apparent epistemological tension posed in Aristotle’s Posterior Analytics between, on the one hand, the infallibility of the knowledge-state we are in when we know scientific first principles, and on the other, the fallibility of the inductive process by which we are supposed to arrive at such knowledge. I claim that the tension feels especially pressing because it seems to us as modern philosophical readers to cast doubt on the very possibility of having scientific knowledge. The skeptic wants to press this point and claim that because we can in principle be mistaken when we think we know something scientifically, we may not be able to know scientifically at all. But for Aristotle, because his fundamental scientific conceptions of episteme and nous are about having explanatory knowledge, the justificatory sense in which nous is required has to do with understanding the knowledge we already have, rather than certifying the truth of our knowledge of particulars. Induction, based on embodied experience and perception, already gives us particular knowledge, which we are capable of transforming into understanding when we develop the right ‘why’ explanations of our particular knowledge. In interpreting Aristotle’s epistemology in this way, my hope is that we may reexamine and subsequently broaden our epistemological conceptions of our modes of intentional directedness and knowing with respect to the scientifically knowable world.
- ItemAutonomy Beyond Independence Autonomy: Responsibility Relations of Reciprocity in Biomedical Ethics(2008) Edmundson, Philip; Wright, Kathleen, 1944-; Macbeth, Danielle
- ItemBack to Sanity: Overcoming an Unknowable Reductionism in the Philosophy of Mind(2009) Kovacs, Hannah; Macbeth, Danielle; Yurdin, JoelReductive philosophers of mind tell us that scientific explanations can account for meaning with brain function and human action in terms of cause/effect outputs. Before accepting this, we should consider whether there is something lacking in these mechanistic descriptions. I will argue that there is something essential missing from an atomized depiction of experience, and I will show that there are powerful resources to create a picture that preserves it. I will contend that it is impossible for reductive accounts of self-consciousness to achieve a rich picture of human experience, and I will attempt to offer an alternative view
- ItemBeauty as it speaks to life: Study in how Platonic Form of Beauty relates to our interaction with beautiful objects(2010) Yun, Emma; Yurdin, Joel; Macbeth, DanielleBeauty‘s relation to art and the good life is mostly obscure, though the topic has been much debated in the course of Western Philosophy. In this essay, I hope to revive the relationship between beauty and goodness, as understood in Platonic times. My main argument centers on Plato‘s understanding of beauty, which claims that a beautiful object is a particular body manifesting the Form of Beauty. To understand the nature of beauty, separation between the Form and the body is needed. I explain how this separation is possible when one makes the progression from appreciating the beauty of the body to creating artworks, to contemplating the nature of beauty in a philosophical discourse. For Plato, goodness is a life spent in philosophical discourse. In my paper, I take goodness to mean a life devoted to understanding the nature of our existence. Only by understanding the nature our existence, we can develop empathy and tolerance. These attributes are necessary in order for us to lead a flourishing life, since our existence is not individuated. Because the Form is intricately woven into the particular body that is connected to life, one who appreciates the Form is drawn to exploring more of the body that leads to exploring more about life itself. Therefore, I argue that understanding the nature of beauty ultimately leads us to the world of the particulars where the good and the bad, happiness and sorrow, are interconnected. It is this dichotomy that has led scholars to resist the claim that beauty ultimately converges with goodness. I conclude that understanding the nature of our existence does converge with goodness, even when existence itself is not purely good.
- ItemConceptuality of Experience(2022) Ding, Joe; Macbeth, DanielleIn Mind and World, John McDowell makes a Kantian thesis that the two faculties of human knowledge – sensibility and understanding – are inextricably combined, in particular, that the sphere in which the faculty of understanding is operative is unbounded. He explicates this thesis by suggesting that concepts, despite belonging to the side of understanding, are passively drawn into operation in the workings of sensibility. I argue that the "passive operation" account fails to do justice to his original Kantian thesis. Alternatively, I defend the inextricable-combination thesis by building on a proposed reading of the Transcendental Deduction in Critique of Pure Reason. I read Kant as telling us here that it is constitutive of pure concepts to be involved in experience, which enables us to understand the conceptuality of experience in a way that does not invoke the puzzling notion of the passive involvement of concepts. On the proposed account, the co-operation between intuition and concepts is indeed inextricable: pure concepts have no other use than to be applied to intuition so that the latter can fully realize its cognitive role of giving an object to the mind. To fully make sense of the idea of conceptuality of experience, we need a new picture of the kind of interaction between mind and world in experience, which amounts to a reconsideration of what knowledge and its objectivity are.
- ItemConsciousness Explained—Almost: A Prolegomena to a Non-Reductive Materialist Explanation of the Mind(1992) Wager, Adam; Macbeth, Danielle; Kosman, Louis Aryeh
- ItemCrip Sex: On the Intersectionality of Gender, Sexuality, and Disability(2010) Rodriguez, Jennifer; Macbeth, Danielle; Miller, Jerry
- ItemDiscourse Written in the Soul: The Literate Revolution and the Philosophic Conception of Mind(1999) Leaver-Spear, Heather; Macbeth, Danielle; Kosman, Louis Aryeh
- ItemEmpathy, Sentimental Education, and Restorative Justice: Providing a Larger Participatory Role for Victims in the American Criminal Justice System(2014) Gallagher, Megan; Macbeth, DanielleResearch on crime victims and their experiences within the American criminal justice system suggests that victims can be unjustly harmed throughout the criminal justice process. I argue that this results from victims' lack of a participatory role in the criminal justice process. Restorative justice initiatives have emerged in response to this issue, but have failed to make significant improvements. In an effort to understand why these current restorative initiatives are insufficient, three approaches of restorative justice are considered in light of two different groups of victims-–victims of sexual and domestic violence, and bereaved victims. This consideration suggests that in order to respond to the unjust harm of victims, restorative values must be woven into the criminal justice process. I claim that in an effort to remain fair and just our criminal justice system has inadvertently treated victims as less than rational, and therefore less than human, by marginalizing them within the criminal justice process. A solution would begin with a conceptual shift regarding the value of sentiments in a legal context and the re-articulation of objectivity. Through sentimental education, empathy and restorative values can begin to be woven into the criminal justice system, allowing us to adequately address the needs of victims and their larger participatory role within the criminal justice process.
- ItemExtending, Expanding, and Laying Bare: A Unified Account of Generalization in Mathematics(2015) Gabor, Zachary; Macbeth, DanielleIt is quite common for mathematicians to refer to theorems or definitions as generalizations of others. Although one gets a very good sense of what the term means by doing enough mathematics, it is not a term that mathematicians typically formally define. Indeed, with a little consideration, it can be seen that the task of giving a proper and comprehensive definition is highly non-trivial, because there are various different applications of the term in widely disparate contexts. Nonetheless, the use of the term is rarely, if ever controversial within the mathematical community. This suggests that there is something, albeit difficult to articulate, that mathematicians intuitively recognize the disparate cases to have in common. The primary goal of my thesis is to explain precisely what this commonality is, by giving a definition of generalization that is applicable to each of the various cases of the term's use. In service of this goal, I lay out an ontological picture of mathematics that borrows both from the long-standing structuralist ontological view of mathematics, and from the work of Danielle Macbeth, who claims that mathematics is a study of objective concepts, the referents of mathematical definitions, which definitions give Fregean senses. Having given my account of generalization, I then elaborate on generalization's roles in mathematical practice, using my account to shed some light on its utility in these roles.
- ItemFaith and the Fall of Christendom: A Thesis Regarding the Nature of Judeo-Christian Faith(1999) McCandlish, Jon; Wright, Kathleen, 1944-; Macbeth, Danielle
- ItemFallibility, Skepticism, and Distance in John McDowell's "Mind and World"(2009) Weiss, Zachary; Macbeth, Danielle; Dostal, Robert J.For my thesis, I looked at skepticism in terms of John McDowell's philosophy in Mind and World. In this work, McDowell explains how concepts mediate the relation between our minds and the world. He does so by making use of Kant's distinction in The Critique of Pure Reason between sensibility, our receptive capacity, and understanding, our spontaneous capacity. McDowell argues, similarly to Kant, that sensibility and understanding must be mutually implicated in any cognitive activity; theories of mind that try to explain thought by separating the contributions of sensibility and understanding are, he contends, incoherent. On these grounds, he refutes Davidson's Coherentism and what McDowell calls the Myth of the Given. As such, we will begin by rehearsing McDowell's claims refuting the Myth of the Given and Coherentism, and see how that brings him to assert that "we need a conception of experiences as states or occurrences that are passive but reflect conceptual capacities, capacities that belong to spontaneity, in operation" (McDowell 23). This will lead into his address (or lack thereof) of skepticism, upon which we will look again at The Critique of Pure Reason, utilizing Kant's idea of an intellectual intuition as a foil to McDowell's philosophy. In doing so, we will come to a richer understanding of McDowell's standpoint with regards to skepticism as well as his philosophy as a whole. This richer understanding will be furthered by addressing Charles Larmore's objection to some of McDowell's language, after which we can come to a more thorough understanding of the process of knowing the world.
- ItemFingo, Fingere, Finxi, Fictum : A Philosophical Treatment of Fiction(2004) Kelly, Alexandra; Gangadean, Ashok K., 1941-; Macbeth, Danielle