412 found
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  1. Theories of government: possible, feasible, possibility-sensitive, feasibility-sensitive.Terence Rajivan Edward - manuscript
    In this paper I make some distinctions, which I hope are of help for Laura Valentini and others. Are the recommendations of a theory of what the government should do possible and are they feasible? Is the project of the theorist possibility-sensitive and is the project feasibility-sensitive?
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  2. Beyond tribalism: an attempted solution to the kalela dance paradox.Terence Rajivan Edward - manuscript
    I propose a solution to the paradox of the kalela dance, as presented by Richard Werbner, based on a variety of liberalism I once identified.
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  3. Rationality and revolution in Western astrology.Terence Rajivan Edward - manuscript
    In this paper, I draw attention to a revolution in the metaphysical commitments of Western astrology. Although I do not wish to promote astrology, I propose a rational route to this revolution. But there is a strong argument, from a Popperian perspective, that my proposal fails to establish rationality. I then consider whether we should say that astrology is either false or unfalsifiable, drawing attention to some surprising findings from schizophrenia research. Also, in a footnote I present “Tompkins’ paradox.”.
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  4. Myths, the iconic, and natural kinds: a literary perspective.Terence Rajivan Edward - manuscript
    What is the relationship between myths and the iconic? This paper analyzes a dialogue from an R.K. Narayan novel which suggests a criterion for belonging to a natural kind in the world of myth, a criterion which makes reference to the iconic.
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  5. On the value of philosophers in the social sciences: fixing disciplinary constitutions.Terence Rajivan Edward - manuscript
    This paper argues for the value of philosophers in a school of social sciences within a university, for fixing what I call disciplinary constitutions. A disciplinary constitution is a statement of “How our discipline works: how we achieve the ends of our discipline.” A lot of people depend on a constitution, but such a thing usually runs into problems and philosophers can identify these problems and propose solutions. I suggest that it is essential for the autonomy of an ambitious school (...)
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  6. Fieldwork places: legitimate, illegitimate, obviously legitimate, better, worse.Terence Rajivan Edward - manuscript
    Jeanette Edwards observes a pattern of questions of the form “Why do anthropology fieldwork in location X?” - she only hears the question posed of some places - and she explains this pattern by saying that some places are taken to be obviously legitimate for anthropology fieldwork whereas others are not. I draw distinctions between legitimate and illegitimate, obviously legitimate and not obviously legitimate, and better and worse. The distinctions lead to a different explanation.
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  7. But why is ideal theory not action guiding?Terence Rajivan Edward - manuscript
    A component of Laura Valentini’s paradox of ideal theory is that an ideal theory fails to be action guiding. But why? I present a strange but traditional reason that Valentini does not list.
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  8. How much was known about Bacup beforehand?Terence Rajivan Edward - manuscript
    This paper considers Jeanette Edwards’ claim that she knew little about the town of Bacup beforehand, in response to the question of why she did fieldwork there. I draw attention to dissatisfaction with this answer as avoiding the question. Also, there is an argument that she and you and I all know a lot about Bacup, compared to various groups studied by social anthropologists.
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  9. A cheap solution to Laura Valentini’s ideal theory paradox?Terence Rajivan Edward - manuscript
    This paper offers a cheap solution to Laura Valentini’s paradox of ideal theory. An ideal theory cannot be sound by definition, since in the relevant sense of “ideal theory” it involves false propositions.
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  10. A sense of “ideal theory”.Terence Rajivan Edward - manuscript
    I present a sense of the term “ideal theory” based on Joseph Raz’s response to the situation of a lifeguard faced with three drowning on one side and two on the other and unable to save all. From what is of value, such a theory builds up a conception of an ideal political state or an aspect of it which we have reason to realize, but ignoring whether it is possible for us to realize this.
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  11. The death of A.J. Ayer, rational actor models, and the curriculum.Terence Rajivan Edward - manuscript
    This paper reflects on an article that appeared after the death of A.J. Ayer, which complains about what British philosophers focus on. I propose that the content of the philosophy curriculum can be predicted from a rational actor model.
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  12. Six plus three approaches to interpreting Judith Butler.Terence Rajivan Edward - manuscript
    This is a two page handout specifying approaches, or methods, used in interpreting Judith Butler. The methods of various analytic philosophers are identified.
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  13. Utilitarianism versus the privileging of speech.Terence Rajivan Edward - 2022 - IJRDO Journal of Humanities and Social Science Research 8 (11):12.
    Apparently the Western philosophical tradition has (wrongly) preferred speech over writing – so claims Jacques Derrida. In this paper, I consider whether utilitarianism involves such a preference. There are at least two arguments against the claim.
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  14. Description of method.Terence Rajivan Edward - manuscript
    Timothy Williamson objects that we do not have any reason to regard reflective equilibrium as a philosophical method, whether good or bad. In this paper, I propose a less demanding account of when a method is being described.
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  15. Ifs and buts: Anca Gheaus’s flawed argument construction.Terence Rajivan Edward - manuscript
    This is my response to a premise-by-premise argument in Anca Gheaus’s “Biological Parenthood: Gestational, Not Genetic.”.
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  16. Almost Forgotten Deconstruction.Terence Rajivan Edward - manuscript
    I distinguish two senses of the word “deconstruction.” Then I quote a passage by a critic from the 1860s which, together with trends of that time, gives rise to the question of whether deconstructive interpretation existed in the nineteenth century.
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  17. Are reflective equilibrium and the original position consistent? The historical bias problem.Terence Rajivan Edward - manuscript
    In this paper, I present a problem for regarding the reflective equilibrium and original position methods as consistent. I do not prove that there is an inconsistency, but there is a puzzle of how the two methods can be made consistent. The concern about inconsistency is because the former method allows for a kind of historical bias, as noted by T.H. Irwin, whereas the latter method seeks to guard against historical bias.
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  18. How well do we understand our own societies? Kakonomia again and Kathleen Stock on the perspective of love.Terence Rajivan Edward - manuscript
    How well do we understand our own societies? In this paper, I raise quite obvious puzzles for Diego Gambetta and Gloria Origgi’s depiction of Italy as a kakonomy and Kathleen Stock’s depiction of ordinary people.
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  19. On a Rawls specialist’s review of T.H. Irwin’s history of Western ethics.Terence Rajivan Edward - manuscript
    Should one read T.H. Irwin’s three volume history of Western ethics, or parts of it? Here one might turn to reviews. The journal The Philosophical Forum uses the sensible strategy of getting different specialists to review different parts of the book. There are two chapters on Rawls, each one reviewed by a Rawlsian. I wish to register discontent with Steven Ross’s review.
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  20. No brilliant friend? Literary acknowledgement between the sexes.Terence Rajivan Edward - manuscript
    This paper responds to an essay by Elena Ferrante on male literary figures acknowledging the influence of female ones. She poses a question about her reception by males which I address.
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  21. Conceptual schemes, analytic truths, and organizing the Pacific Ocean.Terence Rajivan Edward -
    I draw attention to how one of Donald Davidson’s arguments against the claim that others have an alternative conceptual scheme does not look compatible with his rejection of analytic truths – how his rejection of the third dogma of empiricism depends on accepting the first. The appendix contests Davidson’s approach to organizing the Pacific Ocean.
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  22. Intransitivity of translation, Le Débat, and the primacy of the signifier, by Ren*t* S*lecl.Terence Rajivan Edward - manuscript
    This paper is a pastiche of the Lacanian philosopher Renata Salecl, my fourth attempt, combined with a note. In it I present a response I anticipate from analytic philosophy to the thesis that the signifier has priority over the signified: that this thesis is either trivially true or obviously false.
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  23. Are lectures obsolete? By R.K. N*r*yan.Terence Rajivan Edward - manuscript
    This paper responds to the question of whether the Internet has made lectures obsolete and Matthew Pickles’ investigation of why lectures persist. It is written as a pastiche of R.K. Narayan, about whom a somewhat parallel question is probably asked. Pickles refers to a logic lecturer so dry people went swimming, and a pastiche approach is an alternative.
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  24. Translation, history of science, and items not on the menu: a response to Susan Carey.Terence Rajivan Edward - manuscript
    In “Conceptual Differences Between Children and Adults,” Susan Carey discusses phlogiston theory in order to defend the view that there can be non-translatability between scientific languages. I present an objection to her defence.
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  25. Economists, university rankings, and leaving the European Union, by M*l*n K*nder*.Terence Rajivan Edward - manuscript
    In this paper, I present some responses to an argument made by an economist in an online video: that when Britain leaves the European Union, it will be taking many high ranking universities with it, which will lead to an innovation deficit in the union. I present some responses by means of a pastiche of a widely read European fiction writer.
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  26. Its many varieties: does liberalism merely alternate between ethics and economics?Terence Rajivan Edward - manuscript
    I am not sure who said that liberalism merely alternates between ethics and economics – was it Karl Kraus? – but at first glance the claim is plausible. In this paper I argue that there are varieties of liberalism which do not. Some depend on a nature-culture distinction and some appeal to simplicity in a way that seems aesthetic. In the appendix I introduce a problem for utilitarianism.
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  27. Literary Girls, by K*thleen St*ck: chapter 2, the low-high culture divide.Terence Rajivan Edward - manuscript
    This paper is a response to Kathleen Stock’s book Material Girls, by way of imitation. I have attempted to write a faux chapter in the book’s style, identifying four moments in overcoming the low-high culture divide in responses to the arts.
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  28. Feminist Research and Paradigm Shift in Anthropology.Terence Rajivan Edward - 2012 - Meta: Research in Hermeneutics, Phenomenology, and Practical Philosophy 4 (2):343-362.
    In her paper ‘An Awkward Relationship: the Case of Feminism and Anthropology’, Marilyn Strathern argues that feminist research cannot produce a paradigm shift in social anthropology. I reconstruct her arguments and evaluate them, revealing that they are insufficient for ruling out this possibility.
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  29. The conceptual map solution to the paradox of analysis.Terence Rajivan Edward - 2023 - Ijrdo - Journal of Educational Research 9 (4):1.
    Why do a conceptual analysis on a word that we already know how to use? Marilyn Strathern provides some information on garden cities and suburbs which suggests a novel solution to me.
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  30. How did Oedipus solve the riddle of the Sphinx?Terence Rajivan Edward - manuscript
    This paper presents two accounts of how Oedipus might have arrived at the answer to the Sphinx's riddle by proceeding methodically.
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  31.  92
    Who's afraid of a non-adaptable constitution?Terence Rajivan Edward - 2023 - IJRDO - Journal of Social Science and Humanities Research 9 (1):26-27.
    Joseph Raz criticizes John Rawls for a procedure supporting a non-adaptable constitution. This paper considers how a non-adaptable constitution can seem not so counterintuitive and also when.
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  32. Are there uncontroversial error theories?Terence Rajivan Edward - 2011 - Philosophical Pathways (162).
    This paper evaluates an argument for the conclusion that in order to produce a viable objection to a particular error theory, the objection must not be applicable to any error theory. The reason given for this conclusion is that error theories about some discourses are uncontroversial. But the examples given of uncontroversial error theories are not good ones, nor do there appear to be other examples available.
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  33. Overlooked systems in S. Baron-Cohen's gender research.Terence Rajivan Edward - 2019 - IJRDO Journal of Biological Science 5 (6):1-7.
    The professor of psychopathology Simon Baron-Cohen claims that males are on average stronger at systematizing than empathizing and females are on average stronger at empathizing than systematizing. Systematizing is defined as the drive to construct or understand systems. In this paper, I observe that Baron-Cohen overlooks certain examples of systems, examples which lead to doubts about his claim.
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  34. The asymmetry objection to political liberalism: evaluation of a defence.Terence Rajivan Edward - 2018 - E-Logos Electronic Journal for Philosophy 25 (1):26-32.
    This paper evaluates Jonathan Quong’s attempt to defend a version of political liberalism from the asymmetry objection. I object that Quong’s defence relies on a premise that has not been adequately supported and does not look as if it can be given adequate support.
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  35. The definition of systematizing in S. Baron-Cohen's gender and autism research.Terence Rajivan Edward - 2018 - Philosophical Pathways (219):1-4.
    The professor of psychopathology Simon Baron-Cohen is well-known for his thesis that males are on average better at systematizing than empathizing and females are on average better at empathizing than systematizing. In this paper, I note an ambiguity in how he defines systematizing.
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  36. Are individuals a problem for British structural-functionalist anthropology?Terence Rajivan Edward - 2023 - IJRDO - Journal of Social Science and Humanities Research 9 (8):106-108.
    In this paper, I consider the objection to British structural-functionalism that it is unable to deal with the significance of individuals. There are various ways in which individuals may pose a problem for it. I identify four ways, one of which is novel. This way is when someone does not appear to meet the official role requirements in an organization, which gives rise to the question of whether the anthropologist should posit an alternative structure of roles for the organization.
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  37. A solution to the surprise exam paradox.Terence Rajivan Edward - 2017 - Filozofia 72 (4):325-327.
    The students’ argument against the possibility of a surprise exam assumes that the following would not occur: the teacher decides to give the exam on a certain day; the teacher believes that the exam would be a surprise on that day; but, actually, the exam would not be a surprise on that day. I give a reason to reject this assumption, and I point out that an attempt to reformulate the surprise exam paradox in order to allow for the assumption (...)
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  38. Five counterexamples to a definition of dirt.Terence Rajivan Edward - 2023 - IOSR Journal Of Humanities And Social Science (IOSR-JHSS) 28 (12):73-74.
    This paper considers five counterexamples to Mary Douglas's definition of dirt, one of which is extracted from a scene from George Eliot's novel Middlemarch and another from Marilyn Strathern's essay on anthropology at home.
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  39. Why does Descartes say that he is not his body in the second meditation?Terence Rajivan Edward - manuscript
    This paper contests a standard interpretation of how Descartes comes to the conclusion that he is not his body in the second meditation. I propose an alternative interpretation in its place.
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  40. Why sculpt fast? On R.K. Narayan’s “Such perfection”.Terence Rajivan Edward - manuscript
    What is R.K. Narayan’s position in relation to his story “Such perfection”? It is natural to interpret him as conveying a message similar to one Western readers are familiar with from ancient Greek myths: fear perfection; it offends the gods. But there is room for a more complicated interpretation.
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  41. Rawls versus utilitarianism: the subset objection.Terence Rajivan Edward - 2016 - E-Logos Electronic Journal for Philosophy 23 (2):37-41.
    This paper presents an objection to John Rawls’s use of the original position method to argue against implementing utilitarian rules. The use of this method is pointless because a small subset of the premises Rawls relies on can be used to infer the same conclusion.
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  42. Comedies of translation: R.K. Narayan, V.S. Naipaul, Annie Saumont, and beyond.Terence Rajivan Edward - manuscript
    This paper responds to Shashi Tharoor’s criticism that “much of Narayan’s prose reads like a translation.” He does not name any writers in another language to back up his claim and without doing so there is an explanation for his impression, but one which leaves it looking misleading.
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  43. The Hart-Rawls debate: libel, privacy infringement, reflective equilibrium.Terence Rajivan Edward - manuscript
    H.L.A. Hart objects to John Rawls’s liberty principle by drawing attention to how our legal system accepts the restriction of liberty to protect against other harms than liberty-deprivation, such as by laws against slander, libel, and publications which grossly infringe privacy. What is the solution for John Rawls, faced with this criticism? One solution is, by the reflective equilibrium method, to justify abandoning the judgment that these actions are immoral.
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  44. Artefacts as Mere Illustrations of a Worldview.Terence Rajivan Edward - 2017 - Symposion: Theoretical and Applied Inquiries in Philosophy and Social Sciences 4 (2):241-244.
    This paper responds to an argument against a kind of anthropology. According to the argument, if the aim of anthropology is to describe the different worldviews of different groups, then anthropologists should only refer to material artefacts in order to illustrate a worldview; but the interest of artefacts to anthropology goes beyond mere illustration. This argument has been endorsed by key members of the ontological movement in anthropology, who found at least one of its premises in Marilyn Strathern’s writing.
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  45. Astrology, Fate and Causation.Terence Rajivan Edward - 2016 - Philosophical Pathways (200).
    Some philosophers assert that astrology is a false theory. The simplest way to argue against all astrology is to identify a proposition that any kind of astrology must be committed to and then show that this proposition is false. In this paper I draw attention to some misconceptions about which propositions are essential to astrology.
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  46. Objections to Robert Graves’s The Greek Myths.Terence Rajivan Edward - manuscript
    This is a two page handout summarizing a number of objections made against Robert Graves's book of Greek myths.
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  47. Reflective equilibrium, literary canons, and the very idea of literature.Terence Rajivan Edward - manuscript
    We associate the method of reflective equilibrium with developing principles of social justice, but it can also be used on a literary canon, with the aim of identifying principles of inclusion and exclusion. But I note three risks of doing so, using the American literary canon as an example.
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  48. An alternative history: what if Derrida had just been accepted into analytic philosophy?Terence Rajivan Edward - manuscript
    What if, instead of a scandal, Jacques Derrida had been accepted by the community of analytic philosophers? My prediction is that little-known philosophers would make points like some which I have made: counterexamples to his claims. There is a different reaction to the question which I consider though, according to which these skills do not just transfer from topic to topic and would not be “activated” by Derrida’s philosophy.
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  49. The Golden Bough as the handmaiden of colonialism? A response to Mary Beard.Terence Rajivan Edward - manuscript
    This paper responds to Mary Beard’s assessment of the claim that Frazer’s book The Golden Bough was popular because it provided practical aid for colonialists. Beard rejects this as an inadequate explanation: reference to colonialism is part of an adequate explanation, but a full explanation must go beyond this particular ism. I present two objections to the case she makes for her inadequacy conclusion, though I don’t think his book aided much with colonialism.
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  50. Does Marilyn Strathern Argue that the Concept of Nature Is a Social Construction?Terence Rajivan Edward - 2016 - Symposion: Theoretical and Applied Inquiries in Philosophy and Social Sciences 3 (4):437-442.
    It is tempting to interpret Marilyn Strathern as saying that the concept of nature is a social construction, because in her essay “No Nature, No Culture: the Hagen Case” she tells us that the Hagen people do not describe the world using this concept. However, I point out an obstacle to interpreting her in this way, an obstacle which leads me to reject this interpretation. Interpreting her in this way makes her inconsistent. The inconsistency is owing to a commitment that (...)
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