Academic journal article The Review of Metaphysics

Philosophy Vol. 80, No. 2, April 2005

Academic journal article The Review of Metaphysics

Philosophy Vol. 80, No. 2, April 2005

Article excerpt

Thought and Action: A Tribute to Stuart Hampshire, P. M. S. HACKER

The paper is a tribute to the late Stuart Hampshire's investigations of the ramifying role of intention in our conceptual scheme. It surveys the central argument of Thought and Action and the third chapter of Freedom of the Individual. Emphasis is placed upon Hampshire's constructive account of human agency and consequent description of the manner in which perception and action are interwoven. His analysis of the character of intentional action, self-knowledge, and autonomy is described. Various lacunae in Hampshire's account are identified, and an attempt is made to fill them in in a manner consistent with Hampshire's insights.

Minority Rights and the Preservation of Languages, ANTHONY ELLIS

Do minority groups have a right to the preservation of their language? The author of this article argues that the rights of groups are always reducible to the rights of individuals. In that case, the question whether minorities have a right to the preservation of their language is a question of whether individuals have a right to it. This paper argues that, in the only relevant sense of "right," they do not. They may have an interest in the preservation of their language, but, if so, that interest must be weighed against the costs of satisfying it, and, normally at least, we should expect that the costs will be quite out of proportion to the weight of the interests involved.

A Contextualized Approach to Biological Explanation, GIOVANNI BONIOLO

In the paper, starting from a slightly modified version of van Fraassen's pragmatic approach to explanation, the author proposes a pragmatical meta-model for the different biological explanatory models. That is, a pragmatic point of view is offered to rule different explanatory models in function of the biological context from which the given biologist explains.

Deference, Degree and Selfhood, STEPHEN R. L. CLARK

The world we lost, and now barely understand, was one where everyone knew his place and his attendant duties. Civilized groups were the likeliest to insist on a diversity of role and rule. Primitive societies are ones where there are rather fewer such distinctions. Slaves and merchants offered a way of being outside the orders, and from the older point of view, the life of slaves and merchants is exactly what the "liberal" ideal entails. …

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