22 found
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  1. Self‐Motion and Cognition: Plato's Theory of the Soul.Douglas R. Campbell - 2021 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 59 (4):523-544.
    I argue that Plato believes that the soul must be both the principle of motion and the subject of cognition because it moves things specifically by means of its thoughts. I begin by arguing that the soul moves things by means of such acts as examination and deliberation, and that this view is developed in response to Anaxagoras. I then argue that every kind of soul enjoys a kind of cognition, with even plant souls having a form of Aristotelian discrimination (...)
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  2. In Defense of (Some) Online Echo Chambers.Douglas R. Campbell - 2023 - Ethics and Information Technology 25 (3):1-11.
    In this article, I argue that online echo chambers are in some cases and in some respects good. I do not attempt to refute arguments that they are harmful, but I argue that they are sometimes beneficial. In the first section, I argue that it is sometimes good to be insulated from views with which one disagrees. In the second section, I argue that the software-design principles that give rise to online echo chambers have a lot to recommend them. Further, (...)
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  3. The Soul’s Tomb: Plato on the Body as the Cause of Psychic Disorders.Douglas R. Campbell - 2022 - Apeiron 55 (1):119-139.
    I argue that, according to Plato, the body is the sole cause of psychic disorders. This view is expressed at Timaeus 86b in an ambiguous sentence that has been widely misunderstood by translators and commentators. The goal of this article is to offer a new understanding of Plato’s text and view. In the first section, I argue that although the body is the result of the gods’ best efforts, their sub-optimal materials meant that the soul is constantly vulnerable to the (...)
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  4. Plato's Theory of Reincarnation: Eschatology and Natural Philosophy.Douglas R. Campbell - 2022 - Review of Metaphysics 75 (4):643-665.
    This article concerns the place of Plato’s eschatology in his philosophy. I argue that the theory of reincarnation appeals to Plato due to its power to explain how non-human animals came to be. Further, the outlines of this theory are entailed by other commitments, such as that embodiment disrupts psychic functioning, that virtue is always rewarded and vice punished, and that the soul is immortal. I conclude by arguing that Plato develops a view of reincarnation as the chief tool that (...)
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  5. On the continuum fallacy: is temperature a continuous function?Aditya Jha, Douglas Campbell, Clemency Montelle & Phillip L. Wilson - 2023 - Foundations of Physics 53 (69):1-29.
    It is often argued that the indispensability of continuum models comes from their empirical adequacy despite their decoupling from the microscopic details of the modelled physical system. There is thus a commonly held misconception that temperature varying across a region of space or time can always be accurately represented as a continuous function. We discuss three inter-related cases of temperature modelling — in phase transitions, thermal boundary resistance and slip flows — and show that the continuum view is fallacious on (...)
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  6. The Soul’s Tool: Plato on the Usefulness of the Body.Douglas R. Campbell - 2022 - Elenchos 43 (1):7-27.
    This paper concerns Plato’s characterization of the body as the soul’s tool. I take perception as an example of the body’s usefulness. I explore the Timaeus’ view that perception provides us with models of orderliness. Then, I argue that perception of confusing sensible objects is necessary for our cognitive development too. Lastly, I consider the instrumentality relationship more generally and its place in Plato’s teleological worldview.
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  7. Cancel Culture, Then and Now: A Platonic Approach to the Shaming of People and the Exclusion of Ideas.Douglas R. Campbell - 2023 - Journal of Cyberspace Studies 7 (2):147-166.
    In this article, I approach some phenomena seen predominantly on social-media sites that are grouped together as cancel culture with guidance from two major themes in Plato’s thought. In the first section, I argue that shame can play a constructive and valuable role in a person’s improvement, just as we see Socrates throughout Plato’s dialogues use shame to help his interlocutors improve. This insight can help us understand the value of shaming people online for, among other things, their morally reprehensible (...)
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  8. What Timaeus Can Teach Us: The Importance of Plato’s Timaeus in the 21st Century.Douglas R. Campbell - 2023 - Athena 18:58-73.
    In this article, I make the case for the continued relevance of Plato’s Timaeus. I begin by sketching Allan Bloom’s picture of the natural sciences today in The Closing of the American Mind, according to which the natural sciences are, objectionably, increasingly specialized and have ejected humans qua humans from their purview. I argue that Plato’s Timaeus, despite the falsity of virtually all of its scientific claims, provides a model for how we can pursue scientific questions in a comprehensive way (...)
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  9. Located in Space: Plato’s Theory of Psychic Motion.Douglas R. Campbell - 2022 - Ancient Philosophy 42 (2):419-442.
    I argue that Plato thinks that the soul has location, surface, depth, and extension, and that the Timaeus’ composition of the soul out of eight circles is intended literally. A novel contribution is the development of an account of corporeality that denies the entailment that the soul is corporeal. I conclude by examining Aristotle’s objection to the Timaeus’ psychology and then the intellectual history of this reading of Plato.
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  10. Are mathematical explanations causal explanations in disguise?A. Jha, Douglas Campbell, Clemency Montelle & Phillip L. Wilson - 2024 - Philosophy of Science (NA):1-19.
    There is a major debate as to whether there are non-causal mathematical explanations of physical facts that show how the facts under question arise from a degree of mathematical necessity considered stronger than that of contingent causal laws. We focus on Marc Lange’s account of distinctively mathematical explanations to argue that purported mathematical explanations are essentially causal explanations in disguise and are no different from ordinary applications of mathematics. This is because these explanations work not by appealing to what the (...)
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  11. Why Katz is Wrong: A Lab-Created Creature Can Still Have an Ancient Evolutionary History.Douglas Ian Campbell - 2022 - Ethics, Policy and Environment 25 (2):109-112.
    Katz denies that organisms created in a lab as part of a de-extinction attempt will be authentic members of the extinct species, on the basis that they will lack the original species’ defining biological and evolutionary history. Against Katz, I note that an evolutionary lineage is conferred on an organism through its inheriting genes from forebears already possessed of such a lineage, and that de-extinction amounts to a delayed, human-assisted reproductive process, in which genes are inherited from forebears long dead. (...)
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  12. Not so distinctively mathematical explanations: topology and dynamical systems.Aditya Jha, Douglas Campbell, Clemency Montelle & Phillip L. Wilson - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-40.
    So-called ‘distinctively mathematical explanations’ (DMEs) are said to explain physical phenomena, not in terms of contingent causal laws, but rather in terms of mathematical necessities that constrain the physical system in question. Lange argues that the existence of four or more equilibrium positions of any double pendulum has a DME. Here we refute both Lange’s claim itself and a strengthened and extended version of the claim that would pertain to any n-tuple pendulum system on the ground that such explanations are (...)
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  13. Not So Distinctively Mathematical Explanations.Aditya Jha, Clemency Montelle, Douglas I. Campbell & Phillip Wilson - manuscript
    (Longer version - work in progress) Various accounts of distinctively mathematical explanations (DMEs) of complex systems have been proposed recently which bypass the contingent causal laws and appeal primarily to mathematical necessities constraining the system. These necessities are considered to be modally exalted in that they obtain with a greater necessity than the ordinary laws of nature (Lange 2016). This paper focuses on DMEs of the number of equilibrium positions of n-tuple pendulum systems and considers several different DMEs of these (...)
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  14. On the Authenticity of De-Extinct Organisms, and the Genesis Argument.Douglas Campbell - 2017 - Animal Studies Journal 6 (1):61-79.
    Are the methods of synthetic biology capable of recreating authentic living members of an extinct species? An analogy with the restoration of destroyed natural landscapes suggests not. The restored version of a natural landscape will typically lack much of the aesthetic value of the original landscape because of the different historical processes that created it—processes that involved human intentions and actions, rather than natural forces acting over millennia. By the same token, it would appear that synthetically recreated versions of extinct (...)
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  15. Plato on Sunaitia.Douglas R. Campbell - 2023 - Apeiron 56 (4):739-768.
    I argue that Plato thinks that a sunaition is a mere tool used by a soul (or by the cosmic nous) to promote an intended outcome. In the first section, I develop the connection between sunaitia and Plato’s teleology. In the second section, I argue that sunaitia belong to Plato’s theory of the soul as a self-mover: specifically, they are those things that are set in motion by the soul in the service of some goal. I also argue against several (...)
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  16. Does the solar system compute the laws of motion?Douglas Ian Campbell & Yi Yang - 2019 - Synthese 198 (4):3203-3220.
    The counterfactual account of physical computation is simple and, for the most part, very attractive. However, it is usually thought to trivialize the notion of physical computation insofar as it implies ‘limited pancomputationalism’, this being the doctrine that every deterministic physical system computes some function. Should we bite the bullet and accept limited pancomputationalism, or reject the counterfactual account as untenable? Jack Copeland would have us do neither of the above. He attempts to thread a path between the two horns (...)
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  17.  16
    Not Just A Tool: Why Social-Media Use Is Bad and Bad For Us, and The Duty to Quit.Douglas R. Campbell - 2024 - Journal of Global Ethics 20 (1):1-6.
    With an eye on the future of global ethics, I argue that social-media technologies are not morally neutral tools but are, for all intents and purposes, a kind of agent. They nudge us to do things that are bad for us. Moreover, I argue that we have a duty to quit using social-media platforms, not just on account of possible duties to preserve our own well-being but because users are akin to test subjects on whom developers are testing new nudges, (...)
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  18. The Inconceivable Popularity of Conceivability Arguments.Douglas I. Campbell, Jack Copeland & Zhuo-Ran Deng - 2017 - Philosophical Quarterly 67 (267):223-240.
    Famous examples of conceivability arguments include (i) Descartes’ argument for mind-body dualism, (ii) Kripke's ‘modal argument’ against psychophysical identity theory, (iii) Chalmers’ ‘zombie argument’ against materialism, and (iv) modal versions of the ontological argument for theism. In this paper, we show that for any such conceivability argument, C, there is a corresponding ‘mirror argument’, M. M is deductively valid and has a conclusion that contradicts C's conclusion. Hence, a proponent of C—henceforth, a ‘conceivabilist’—can be warranted in holding that C's premises (...)
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  19. Against Lewis on ‘Desire as Belief’.Douglas Ian Campbell - 2017 - Polish Journal of Philosophy 11 (1):17-28.
    David Lewis describes, then attempts to refute, a simple anti-Humean theory of desire he calls ‘Desire as Belief’. Lewis’ critics generally accept that his argument is sound and focus instead on trying to show that its implications are less severe than appearances suggest. In this paper I argue that Lewis’ argument is unsound. I show that it rests on an essential assumption that can be straightforwardly proven false using ideas and principles to which Lewis is himself committed.
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  20. The Eightfold Way: Why Analyticity, Apriority and Necessity are Independent.Douglas Ian Campbell - 2017 - Philosophers' Imprint 17:1-17.
    This paper concerns the three great modal dichotomies: (i) the necessary/contingent dichotomy; (ii) the a priori/empirical dichotomy; and (iii) the analytic/synthetic dichotomy. These can be combined to produce a tri-dichotomy of eight modal categories. The question as to which of the eight categories house statements and which do not is a pivotal battleground in the history of analytic philosophy, with key protagonists including Descartes, Hume, Kant, Kripke, Putnam and Kaplan. All parties to the debate have accepted that some categories are (...)
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  21. Cosmos and Perception in Plato’s Timaeus: In the Eye of the Cognitive Storm. By Mark Eli Kalderon. [REVIEW]Douglas R. Campbell - 2024 - Ancient Philosophy 44 (1):255-258.
    This is an impressive and important book about perception in Plato’s Timaeus, but most of its readers will probably be researchers who are interested in much broader questions about the dialogue. There is nothing deficient or lacking about this treatment of perception, but this book should be put alongside Thomas Johansen’s Plato’s Natural Philosophy and Sarah Broadie’s Nature and Divinity in the sense that this is, for all intents and purposes, a monograph about the whole Timaeus, even though it is (...)
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  22.  85
    An important survey of the history of machine-body analogies through intellectual history (review of Body and Machine in Classical Antiquity, edited by Maria Gerolemou and George Kazantzidis). [REVIEW]Douglas R. Campbell - 2024 - Metascience 32 (1):85-88.
    The editors have put together an interesting and important collection of twelve essays that trace the development of explanations of the human body that appeal to machines and other technological artefacts. Although the focus of the book is ancient authors, with the oldest being Homer and Pindar, the last essay reaches into the eighteenth century, at which point there are no longer mere analogies between human bodies and machines but a conception of the human body as something mechanized. The essays (...)
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