Combining Philosophers

All the ideas for Cardinal/Hayward/Jones, Carol Gilligan and Saunders MacLane

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8 ideas

4. Formal Logic / F. Set Theory ST / 4. Axioms for Sets / a. Axioms for sets
ZFC could contain a contradiction, and it can never prove its own consistency [MacLane]
     Full Idea: We have at hand no proof that the axioms of ZFC for set theory will never yield a contradiction, while Gödel's second theorem tells us that such a consistency proof cannot be conducted within ZFC.
     From: Saunders MacLane (Mathematics: Form and Function [1986], p.406), quoted by Penelope Maddy - Naturalism in Mathematics
     A reaction: Maddy quotes this, while defending set theory as the foundation of mathematics, but it clearly isn't the most secure foundation that could be devised. She says the benefits of set theory do not need guaranteed consistency (p.30).
11. Knowledge Aims / C. Knowing Reality / 2. Phenomenalism
The phenomenalist says that to be is to be perceivable [Cardinal/Hayward/Jones]
     Full Idea: Where the idealist says that to be (i.e. to exist) is to be perceived, the phenomenalist says that to be is to be perceivable.
     From: Cardinal/Hayward/Jones (Epistemology [2004], Ch.4)
     A reaction: This is a nice phenomenalist slogan to add to Mill's well known one (Idea 3583). Expressed in this form, it looks false to me. What about neutrinoes? They weren't at all perceivable until recently. Maybe some physical stuff can never be perceived.
Linguistic phenomenalism says we can eliminate talk of physical objects [Cardinal/Hayward/Jones]
     Full Idea: Linguistic phenomenalism argues that it is possible to remove all talk of physical objects from our speech with no loss of meaning.
     From: Cardinal/Hayward/Jones (Epistemology [2004], Ch.4)
     A reaction: I find this proposal unappealing. My basic objection is that I cannot understand why anyone would refuse to even contemplate the question of WHY I am having a given group of consistent experiences, of (say) a table kind.
If we lack enough sense-data, are we to say that parts of reality are 'indeterminate'? [Cardinal/Hayward/Jones]
     Full Idea: The problem with taking sense-data as basic is that some data can appear indeterminate. If we can't discern the colour of someone's eyes, or the number of sides of a complex figure, are we to say that there is no fact about those things?
     From: Cardinal/Hayward/Jones (Epistemology [2004], Ch.4)
     A reaction: I like that. How many electrons are there in the sun? Such things cannot just be reduced to talk of sense-data, as there is obviously a vast gap between the data and the facts. As usual, ontology and epistemology must be kept separate.
12. Knowledge Sources / B. Perception / 2. Qualities in Perception / c. Primary qualities
An object cannot remain an object without its primary qualities [Cardinal/Hayward/Jones]
     Full Idea: An object cannot lack shape, size, position or motion and remain an object.
     From: Cardinal/Hayward/Jones (Epistemology [2004], Ch.4)
     A reaction: This points towards the essentialist view (see Idea 5453). This does raise the question of whether an object could lose its colour with impugnity, or the quality of sound that it makes when struck.
Primary qualities can be described mathematically, unlike secondary qualities [Cardinal/Hayward/Jones]
     Full Idea: All the primary qualities lend themselves readily to mathematical or geometric description. ...but it seems that secondary qualities are less amenable to being represented mathematically.
     From: Cardinal/Hayward/Jones (Epistemology [2004], Ch.4)
     A reaction: As a believer in the primary/secondary distinction, I welcome this point. This is either evidence for the external reality of primary qualities, or an interesting observation about maths. Do we make the primary/secondary distinction because we do maths?
13. Knowledge Criteria / B. Internal Justification / 5. Coherentism / c. Coherentism critique
My justifications might be very coherent, but totally unconnected to the world [Cardinal/Hayward/Jones]
     Full Idea: My beliefs could be well justified in coherentist terms, while not accurately representing the world, and my system of beliefs could be completely free-floating.
     From: Cardinal/Hayward/Jones (Epistemology [2004], Ch.3)
     A reaction: This nicely encapsulates to correspondence objection to coherence theory. One thing missing from the coherence account is that beliefs aren't chosen for their coherence, but are mostly unthinkingly triggered by experiences.
22. Metaethics / C. Ethics Foundations / 1. Nature of Ethics / b. Defining ethics
Moral problems are responsibility conflicts, needing contextual and narrative attention to relationships [Gilligan]
     Full Idea: The moral problem arises from conflicting responsibilities rather than competing rights, and its resolution needs contextual and narrative thinking. This morality as care centers around the understanding of responsibility and relationships.
     From: Carol Gilligan (In a Different Voice [1982], p.19), quoted by Will Kymlicka - Contemporary Political Philosophy (1st edn)
     A reaction: [Kymlicka cites her as a key voice in feminist moral philosophy] I like all of this, especially the very original thought (to me, anyway) that moral thinking should be 'narrative' in character.