Dictionary of philosophy and psychology

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THE CAMBRIDGE DICTIONARY OF PHILOSOPHY, SECOND EDITION ROBERT AUDI CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS4065A-g.qxd 08/02/1999 7:35 AM Page 1 A Abailard, Pierre. See ABELARD. promising. Rather, the search has turned to look- ing for “logics” in some weaker sense. Heuristic Abdera, School of. See ABDERITES. procedures, strategies for discovery, and the like are explored. Others have focused on investigat- Abderites, the Greek philosophers Leucippus and ing rationality in the growth of scientific knowl- Democritus, the two earliest exponents of atom- edge, say, by exploring conditions under which ism. Even though Abdera, in Thrace (northern research traditions or programs are progressive Greece), was home to three pre-Socratics – Leu- or degenerating. Some have explored recourse to cippus, Democritus, and Protagoras – the term techniques from cognitive science or artificial ‘Abderites’ and the phrase ‘School of Abdera’ are intelligence. Claims of success generally are con- applied only to Leucippus and Democritus. We troversial. can thus distinguish between early Greek atom- See also CONFIRMATION, INDUCTION, ism and Epicureanism, which is the later version REICHENBACH. F.S. of atomism developed by Epicurus of Athens. This modern usage is in one respect inapt: the Abelard, Peter, in French, Pierre Abailard or corresponding Greek term, Abderites, -ai, was Abélard (1079–1144), French theologian whose used in antiquity as a synonym of ‘simple- writings, particularly Theologia Christiana, consti- ton’ – not in disparagement of any of the three tute one of the more impressive attempts of the philosophers of Abdera but as a regional slur. See medieval period to use logical techniques to also ANCIENT ATOMISM, PRE-SOCRATICS. explicate Christian dogmas. He was born of a A.P.D.M. minor noble family in Brittany and studied logic and theology under some of the most notable abduction, canons of reasoning for the discovery, teachers of the early twelfth century, including as opposed to the justification, of scientific hypo- Roscelin, William of Champeaux, and Anselm of theses or theories. Laon. He rapidly eclipsed his teachers in logic Reichenbach distinguished the context of justifi- and attracted students from all over Europe. His cation and the context of discovery, arguing that phi- forays into theology were less enthusiastically losophy legitimately is concerned only with the received. Twice his views on the Trinity were former, which concerns verification and confir- condemned as heretical. Abelard led a dramatic mation, whereas the latter is a matter for psy- life punctuated by bitter disputes with his oppo- chology. Thus he and other logical positivists nents and a dangerous and celebrated love affair claimed there are inductive logics of justification with Héloïse (c.1117). Much of this story is told but not logics for discovery. Both hypothetico- in his autobiographical work, Historia calamita- deductive and Bayesian or other probabilistic tum. inductive logics of justification have been pro- Abelard’s two most important works in logic posed. Close examination of actual scientific are his Logica ingredientibus and his Dialectica. In practice increasingly reveals justificatory argu- these treatises and others he is the first medieval ments and procedures that call into question the Scholastic to make full use of Aristotle’s On Inter- adequacy of such logics. pretation and Boethius’s commentaries on it to Norwood Russell Hanson distinguished the produce a sophisticated theory of the significa- reasons for accepting a specific hypothesis from tion of words and sentences. The theory distin- the reasons for suggesting that the correct guishes the signification of an expression both hypothesis will be of a particular kind. For the from what the expression names and the idea in latter he attempted to develop logics of retroduc- the mind of the speaker associated with the tive or abductive reasoning that stressed analogi- expression. Abelard allows a role for mental cal reasoning, but did not succeed in convincing images in thinking, but he carefully avoids claim- many that these logics were different in kind ing that these are what words signify. In this he from logics of justification. Today few regard the is very much aware of the pitfalls of subjectivist search for rigorous formal logics of discovery as theories of meaning. His positive doctrines on 14065A-g.qxd 08/02/1999 7:35 AM Page 2 abhidharma Abrabanel, Isaac ben Judah what words signify tie in closely with his views (ignorance). Some other manifestations of avidya on the signification of propositions and univer- were said to be fear, attachment, and aversion, sals. For Abelard propositions are sentences that all of which were thought to generate karmic are either true or false; what they say (their dicta) bondage and prevent one from attaining spiritual is what they signify and these dicta are the pri- liberation. Lumped together with these, abhinive- mary bearers of truth and falsity. Abelard devel- sha obviously has a negative connotation, even oped a genuinely propositional logic, the first though in the Indian tradition it was not neces- since the Stoics. A universal, on the other hand, sarily wrong, and even commendable at times, to is a common noun or adjective, and what it exhibit self-love and a healthy will to live and means is what the verb phrase part of a proposi- prosper in the material world. So presumably the tion signifies. This is a sort of truncated dictum, negative connotation of abhinivesha is an indica- which Abelard variously called a status, nature, tion that what may be otherwise permissible can or property. Neither status nor dicta are things, be improper or morally wrong if pursued in Abelard said, but they are mind-independent excess or for the wrong reason. See also objects of thought. Abelard was particularly dev- AVIDYA. D.K.C. astating in his attacks on realist theories of uni- versals, but his view that universals are words abortion. See MORAL STATUS. was not meant to deny the objectivity of our knowledge of the world. Abrabanel, Isaac ben Judah (1437–1508), Span- Abelard’s theories in logic and ontology went ish Jewish philosopher and statesman. On the far beyond the traditional ideas that had been periphery between late medieval Spanish philos- handed down from Aristotle through the medi- ophy and Renaissance humanism, Abrabanel ation of the late ancient commentators, Boethius concerned himself with traditional medieval in particular. They could have formed the basis Jewish subjects such as creation, prophecy, and of a fundamentally new synthesis in Western theodicy. His works include biblical commen- logic, but when more of the Aristotelian corpus taries as well as philosophical and theological became available in Western Europe during the treatises; his most significant writings constitute twelfth century, concentration shifted to assimi- his critique of Maimonides’ Guide of the Perplexed, lating this already fully elaborated system of found in Rosh Amanah (1505) and Mifalot Elohim ideas. Consequently, Abelard’s influence on later (1503). In his criticism of the Aristotelians, Abra- Scholastic thought, though noticeable, is not banel was influenced by Isaac Arama. Endorsing nearly as great as one might expect, given the the rabbinic concept of prophecy, Abrabanel acuteness and originality of his insights. attacks Maimonides’ naturalistic views of proph- See also BOETHIUS, ROSCELIN, SCHOLASTI- ecy: he argues that Moses is not to be distin- CISM. M.M.T. guished from the other prophets and that the knowledge of the prophets is not merely scien- abhidharma, the analytical and systematic pre- tific and metaphysical, but miraculously pro- sentation of the major conceptual categories con- duced by God. This emphasis upon the miracu- stituting Buddhist doctrine; used as a label for lous as opposed to the natural is developed in his both the texts that contain such presentations theory of history and politics. His views about the and the content of what is presented. Early abhid- ideal state reflect humanist leanings. While Abra- harma texts (up to about the second century A.D.) banel does see the civilized state of humans as a are catechetical in form, defining key doctrinal rebellion against God resulting from the fall, he terms schematically through question and is interested in the best kind of government answer; later works are more discursive, often under these circumstances. Accordingly, unity of containing extensive discussions of controverted society does not require a concentrated power metaphysical issues such as the existence of past but can be achieved through a collective will. objects or the nature of reference. The goal of This kind of government, Abrabanel claims, is abhidharma is to make a complete inventory of advocated by the Torah and shown to be effec- existents and of the relations that may hold tive by the Italian republics of the period. With among them. See also BUDDHISM. P.J.G. the coming of the Messiah, humankind will real- ize its spiritual potential, and when the corporeal abhinivesha, Sanskrit word meaning ‘self-love’ universe vanishes, each soul will be able to con- or ‘will to live’. In Indian philosophy in general template eternally the essence of God. Abra- and in the Sankhya-Yoga system in particular, banel’s political views influenced later Jewish abhinivesha was regarded as an aspect of avidya messianic movements, and his biblical commen- 24065A-g.qxd 08/02/1999 7:35 AM Page 3 Abrabanel, Judah abstract entity taries, translated into Latin, influenced later sity that embodies itself in the world in order to Christian humanist circles. See also ABRA- achieve self-knowledge and freedom during the BANEL, JUDAH; MAIMONIDES. T.M.R. course of history. Many prominent nineteenth- century British and American idealists, including Abrabanel, Judah, also called Leone Ebreo or Leo Bosanquet, Royce, and Bradley, defended the Hebraeus (c.1460–c.1523), Spanish Jewish existence of a quasi-Hegelian absolute. See also philosopher, poet, and physician. The oldest son HEGEL, IDEALISM, SCHELLING. J.W.A. of Isaac Abrabanel, Judah Abrabanel was, philo- sophically, a representative of Italian Platonism. absolute right. See RIGHTS. He wrote his predominantly Neoplatonic philo- sophical work Dialoghi d’Amore (Dialogues of Love) absolute space. See SPACE. in 1535. The original Italian manuscript was translated into French, Latin, Spanish, and Absolute Spirit. See HEGEL. Hebrew between 1551 and 1560. The interlocu- tors of this Platonic-style dialogue, Sophia and absolute threshold. See FECHNER. Philo, explore the nature of cosmic love. This love not only exists between God and creatures, absolute time. See TIME. but also operates in matter and form, the four elements, and the entire universe; it reflects both absolutism, ethical. See RELATIVISM. sensuous and intellectual beauty; in short it is transformed from a relation between God and abstract. See APPENDIX OF SPECIAL SYMBOLS. the universe into a fundamental force around which all things are ordered. There is a mystical abstracta. See ABSTRACT ENTITY, NATURALISM. aspect to Abrabanel’s account of love, and it is not surprising that reflections on mysticism, in abstract entity, an object lacking spatiotemporal addition to astrology, astronomy, and aesthetics, properties, but supposed to have being, to exist, emerge throughout the work. Although primar- or (in medieval Scholastic terminology) to sub- ily reflecting medieval Platonism and Neoplaton- sist. Abstracta, sometimes collected under the ism, Abrabanel was also influenced by Marcilio category of universals, include mathematical Ficino, Pico della Mirandola, Maimonides, and objects, such as numbers, sets, and geometrical Ibn Gabirol. His dialogue was read by many figures, propositions, properties, and relations. philosophers, including Giordano Bruno and Abstract entities are said to be abstracted from Spinoza. His concept of love may be found in particulars. The abstract triangle has only the lyrical poetry of the period in Italy, France, and properties common to all triangles, and none Spain, as well as in Michelangelo’s Sonnets and peculiar to any particular triangles; it has no def- Torquato Tasso’s Minturno. See also ABRA- inite color, size, or specific type, such as isosceles BANEL, ISAAC. T.M.R. or scalene. Abstracta are admitted to an ontology by Quine’s criterion if they must be supposed to absent qualia. See FUNCTIONALISM, PHILOSOPHY OF exist (or subsist) in order to make the proposi- MIND. tions of an accepted theory true. Properties and relations may be needed to account for resem- absolute, the, term used by idealists to describe blances among particulars, such as the redness the one independent reality of which all things shared by all red things. Propositions as the are an expression. Kant used the adjective abstract contents or meanings of thoughts and ‘absolute’ to characterize what is uncondition- expressions of thought are sometimes said to be ally valid. He claimed that pure reason searched necessary to explain translation between lan- for absolute grounds of the understanding that guages, and other semantic properties and rela- were ideals only, but that practical reason postu- tions. lated the real existence of such grounds as nec- Historically, abstract entities are associated essary for morality. This apparent inconsistency with Plato’s realist ontology of Ideas or Forms. led his successors to attempt to systematize his For Plato, these are the abstract and only real view of reason. To do this, Schelling introduced entities, instantiated or participated in by spa- the term ‘the Absolute’ for the unconditioned tiotemporal objects in the world of appearance or ground (and hence identity) of subject and empirical phenomena. Aristotle denied the inde- object. Schelling was criticized by Hegel, who pendent existence of abstract entities, and rede- defined the Absolute as spirit: the logical neces- fined a diluted sense of Plato’s Forms as the 34065A-g.qxd 08/02/1999 7:35 AM Page 4 abstraction Academy secondary substances that inhere in primary sub- name. Although it may not have maintained a stances or spatiotemporal particulars as the only continuous tradition, the many and varied genuine existents. The dispute persisted in philosophers of the Academy all considered medieval philosophy between realist metaphysi- themselves Plato’s successors, and all of them cel- cians, including Augustine and Aquinas, who ebrated and studied his work. The school sur- accepted the existence of abstracta, and nomi- vived in some form until A.D. 529, when it was nalists, such as Ockham, who maintained that dissolved, along with the other pagan schools, by similar objects may simply be referred to by the the Eastern Roman emperor Justinian I. The his- same name without participating in an abstract tory of the Academy is divided by some authori- form. In modern philosophy, the problem of ties into that of the Old Academy (Plato, abstracta has been a point of contention between Speusippus, Xenocrates, and their followers) and rationalism, which is generally committed to the the New Academy (the Skeptical Academy of the existence of abstract entities, and empiricism, third and second centuries B.C.). Others speak of which rejects abstracta because they cannot be five phases in its history: Old (as before), Middle experienced by the senses. Berkeley and Hume (Arcesilaus), New (Carneades), Fourth (Philo of argued against Locke’s theory of abstract ideas by Larisa), and Fifth (Antiochus of Ascalon). observing that introspection shows all ideas to be For most of its history the Academy was particular, from which they concluded that we devoted to elucidating doctrines associated with can have no adequate concept of an abstract Plato that were not entirely explicit in the dia- entity; instead, when we reason about what we logues. These “unwritten doctrines” were appar- call abstracta we are actually thinking about par- ently passed down to his immediate successors ticular ideas delegated by the mind to represent and are known to us mainly through the work of an entire class of resemblant particulars, from Aristotle: there are two opposed first principles, which we may freely substitute others if we mis- the One and the Indefinite Dyad (Great and takenly draw conclusions peculiar to the exam- Small); these generate Forms or Ideas (which ple chosen. Abstract propositions were defended may be identified with numbers), from which in by Bolzano and Frege in the nineteenth century turn come intermediate mathematicals and, at as the meanings of thought in language and the lowest level, perceptible things (Aristotle, logic. Dispute persists about the need for and Metaphysics I.6). nature of abstract entities, but many philoso- After Plato’s death in 347, the Academy passed phers believe they are indispensable in meta- to his nephew Speusippus (c.407–339), who led physics. the school until his death. Although his written See also ARISTOTLE, BERKELEY, FREGE, works have perished, his views on certain main METAPHYSICAL REALISM, OCKHAM, PLATO, points, along with some quotations, were PROPERTY. D.J. recorded by surviving authors. Under the influ- ence of late Pythagoreans, Speusippus antici- abstraction. See ABSTRACT ENTITY, BERKELEY. pated Plotinus by holding that the One tran- scends being, goodness, and even Intellect, and abstraction, axiom of. See AXIOM OF COMPREHEN- that the Dyad (which he identifies with matter) SION. is the cause of all beings. To explain the grada- tions of beings, he posited gradations of matter, abstraction, lambda-. See COMBINATORY LOGIC. and this gave rise to Aristotle’s charge that Speusippus saw the universe as a series of dis- absurd. See CAMUS, EXISTENTIALISM. jointed episodes. Speusippus abandoned the the- ory of Forms as ideal numbers, and gave heavier absurdity. See CATEGORY, REDUCTIO AD ABSURDUM. emphasis than other Platonists to the mathemat- icals. Abunaser. See AL-FARABI. Xenocrates (396–314), who once went with Plato to Sicily, succeeded Speusippus and led the AC. See APPENDIX OF SPECIAL SYMBOLS. Academy till his own death. Although he was a prolific author, Xenocrates’ works have not sur- Academic Skepticism. See SKEPTICISM, SKEPTICS. vived, and he is known only through the work of other authors. He was induced by Aristotle’s Academy, the school established by Plato around objections to reject Speusippus’s views on some 385 B.C. at his property outside Athens near the points, and he developed theories that were a public park and gymnasium known by that major influence on Middle Platonism, as well as 44065A-g.qxd 08/02/1999 7:35 AM Page 5 accent, fallacy of accidentalism on Stoicism. In Xenocrates’ theory the One is and moral education led him to write the Paral- Intellect, and the Forms are ideas in the mind of lel Lives (paired biographies of famous Romans this divine principle; the One is not transcen- and Athenians), for which he is best known. dent, but it resides in an intellectual space above After this period, the Academy ceased to be the the heavens. While the One is good, the Dyad is name for a species of Platonic philosophy, evil, and the sublunary world is identified with although the school remained a center for Pla- Hades. Having taken Forms to be mathematical tonism, and was especially prominent under the entities, he had no use for intermediate mathe- leadership of the Neoplatonist Proclus (c.410– maticals. Forms he defined further as paradig- 85). matic causes of regular natural phenomena, and See also MIDDLE PLATONISM, NEOPLATON- soul as self-moving number. ISM, NEW ACADEMY, PLATO. P.Wo. Polemon (c.350–267) led the Academy from 314 to 267, and was chiefly known for his fine accent, fallacy of. See INFORMAL FALLACY. character, which set an example of self-control for his students. The Stoics probably derived accessibility, epistemic. See EPISTEMOLOGY. their concept of oikeiosis (an accommodation to nature) from his teaching. After Polemon’s accessibility between two worlds. See POSSIBLE death, his colleague Crates led the Academy until WORLDS. the accession of Arcesilaus. The New Academy arose when Arcesilaus accident, a feature or property of a substance became the leader of the school in about 265 B.C. (e.g., an organism or an artifact) without which and turned the dialectical tradition of Plato to the the substance could still exist. According to a Skeptical aim of suspending belief. The debate common essentialist view of persons, Socrates’ between the New Academy and Stoicism domi- size, color, and integrity are among his accidents, nated philosophical discussion for the next cen- while his humanity is not. For Descartes, think- tury and a half. On the Academic side the most ing is the essence of the soul, while any particu- prominent spokesman was Carneades (c.213– lar thought a soul entertains is an accident. 129 B.C.). According to a common theology, God has no In the early years of the first century B.C., Philo accidents, since all truths about him flow by of Larisa attempted to reconcile the Old and the necessity from his nature. These examples sug- New Academy. His pupil, the former Skeptic gest the diversity of traditional uses of the notion Antiochus of Ascalon, was enraged by this and of accident. There is no uniform conception; but broke away to refound the Old Academy in the Cartesian view, according to which the acci- about 87 B.C. This was the beginning of Mid- dents are modes of (ways of specifying) the dle Platonism (c.80 B.C.–A.D. 220). Antiochus’s essence of a substance, is representative. An school was eclectic in combining elements of Pla- important ambiguity concerns the identity of tonism, Stoicism, and Aristotelian philosophy, accidents: if Plato and Aristotle have the same and is known to us mainly through Cicero’s Aca- weight, is that weight one accident (say, the demica. Middle Platonism revived the main property of weighing precisely 70 kilograms) or themes of Speusippus and Xenocrates, but often two (one accident for Plato, one for Aristotle)? used Stoic or neo-Pythagorean concepts to Different theorists give different answers (and explain them. The influence of the Stoic Posido- some have changed their minds). Issues about nius (135–50/51 B.C.) was strongly felt on the accidents have become peripheral in this century Academy in this period, and Platonism flour- because of the decline of traditional concerns ished at centers other than the Academy in about substance. But the more general questions Athens, most notably in Alexandria, with about necessity and contingency are very much Eudorus (first century B.C.) and Philo of Alexan- alive. See also CONTINGENT, ESSENTIALISM, dria (fl. A.D. 39). PROPERTY. S.J.W. After the death of Philo, the center of interest returned to Athens, where Plutarch of Chaero- accident, fallacy of. See INFORMAL FALLACY. nia (A.D. c.45–c.125) studied with Ammonius at the Academy, although Plutarch spent most of accidental generalization. See LAWLIKE GENERAL- his career at his home in nearby Boeotia. His IZATION. many philosophical treatises, which are rich sources for the history of philosophy, are gath- accidentalism, the metaphysical thesis that the ered under the title Moralia; his interest in ethics occurrence of some events is either not necessi- 54065A-g.qxd 08/02/1999 7:35 AM Page 6 accidental property action theory tated or not causally determined or not pre- head, but the existence of the world.” Maimon, dictable. Many determinists have maintained Fichte, Hegel, and others make the same claim. that although all events are caused, some never- By the time of Feuerbach it was also used to char- theless occur accidentally, if only because the acterize a basic feature of Christianity: the denial causal laws determining them might have been of the world or worldliness. See also FICHTE, different. Some philosophers have argued that HEGEL, SPINOZA. M.K. even if determinism is true, some events, such as a discovery, could not have been predicted, on acquaintance, knowledge by. See KNOWLEDGE BY grounds that to predict a discovery is to make the ACQUAINTANCE. discovery. The term may also designate a theory of indi- acrasia. See AKRASIA. viduation: that individuals of the same kind or species are numerically distinct in virtue of pos- act-content-object-psychology.See ACT-OBJECT PSY- sessing some different accidental properties. Two CHOLOGY. horses are the same in essence but numerically distinct because one of them is black, e.g., while act, propositional. See INTENTIONALITY. the other is white. Accidentalism presupposes the identity of indiscernibles but goes beyond it act, voluntary. See ACTION THEORY. by claiming that accidental properties account for numerical diversity within a species. Peter action, basic. See PHILOSOPHY OF ACTION. Abelard criticized a version of accidentalism es- poused by his teacher, William of Champeaux, action, philosophy of. See ACTION THEORY. on the ground that accidental properties depend for their existence on the distinct individuals in action at a distance. See FIELD THEORY. which they inhere, and so the properties cannot account for the distinctness of the individuals. action theory, the study of the ontological struc- See also DETERMINISM, IDENTITY OF INDIS- ture of human action, the process by which it CERNIBLES. W.E.M. originates, and the ways in which it is explained. Most human actions are acts of commission: they accidental property. See PROPERTY. constitute a class of events in which a subject (the agent) brings about some change or accidie (also acedia), apathy, listlessness, or changes. Thus, in moving one’s finger, one brings ennui. This condition is problematic for the inter- it about that one’s finger moves. When the nalist thesis that, necessarily, any belief that one change brought about is an ongoing process morally ought to do something is conceptually (e.g., the continuing appearance of words on a sufficient for having motivation to do it. Ann has page), the behavior is called an activity (writing). long believed that she ought, morally, to assist An action of omission occurs when an agent her ailing mother, and she has dutifully acted refrains from performing an action of commis- accordingly. Seemingly, she may continue to sion. Since actions of commission are events, the believe this, even though, owing to a recent per- question of their ontology is in part a matter of sonal tragedy, she now suffers from accidie and is the general ontology of change. An important wholly lacking in motivation to assist her mother. issue here is whether what occurs when an See also AKRASIA, MOTIVATIONAL INTERNAL- action is performed should be viewed as abstract ISM, SOCRATIC PARADOXES. A.R.M. or concrete. On the first approach, actions are understood either as proposition-like entities accomplishment verb. See ACTION VERB. (e.g., Booth’s moving a finger), or as a species of universal – namely, an act-type (moving a finger). achievement verb. See ACTION VERB. What “occurred” when Booth moved his finger in Ford’s Theater on April 14, 1865, is held to be Achilles paradox. See ZENO’s PARADOXES. the abstract entity in question, and the entity is viewed as repeatable: that is, precisely the same acosmism, a term formed in analogy to ‘atheism,’ entity is held to have occurred on every other meaning the denial of the ultimate reality of the occasion of Booth’s moving his finger. When world. Ernst Platner used it in 1776 to describe actions are viewed as concrete, on the other Spinoza’s philosophy, arguing that Spinoza did hand, Booth’s moving his finger in Ford’s Theater not intend to deny “the existence of the God- is understood to be a non-repeatable particular, 64065A-g.qxd 08/02/1999 7:35 AM Page 7 action theory action theory and the movement of the finger counts as an act- out that it is possible to engage in action but to token, which instantiates the corresponding act- accomplish less than a bodily movement, as type. Concrete actions are time-bound: each when one tries to move a limb that is restrained belongs to a single behavioral episode, and other or paralyzed, and fails. According to these instantiations of the same act-type count as dis- accounts, bodily actions arise out of a still more tinct events. basic mental activity, usually called volition or A second important ontological issue concerns willing, which is held to constitute the standard the fact that by moving his finger, Booth also means for performing all overt actions. fired a gun, and killed Lincoln. It is common for The question of how bodily actions originate is more than one thing to be accomplished in a sin- closely associated with that of what distinguishes gle exercise of agency, and how such doings are them from involuntary and reflex bodily events, related is a matter of debate. If actions are under- as well as from events in the inanimate world. stood as abstract entities, the answer is essen- There is general agreement that the crucial differ- tially foregone: there must be as many different ence concerns the mental states that attend actions on Booth’s part as there are types exem- action, and in particular the fact that voluntary plified. But if actions are viewed as particulars the actions typically arise out of states of intending same token can count as an instance of more on the part of the agent. But the nature of the than one type, and identity claims become pos- relation is difficult, and there is the complicating sible. Here there is disagreement. Fine-grained factor that intention is sometimes held to reduce theories of act individuation tend to confine to other mental states, such as the agent’s desires identity claims to actions that differ only in ways and beliefs. That issue aside, it would appear that describable through different modifications of unintentional actions arise out of more basic the same main verb – e.g., where Placido both actions that are intentional, as when one unin- sings and sings loudly. Otherwise, different types tentionally breaks a shoelace by intentionally are held to require different tokens: Booth’s tugging on it. But how intention is first translated action of moving his finger is held to have gen- into action is much more problematic, especially erated or given rise to distinct actions of firing the when bodily movements are viewed as basic gun and killing Lincoln, by virtue of having had actions. One cannot, e.g., count Booth’s moving as causal consequences the gun’s discharge and his finger as an intentional action simply because Lincoln’s death. The opposite, coarse-grained the- he intended to do so, or even on the ground (if it ory, however, views these causal relations as is true) that his intention caused his finger to grounds for claiming Booth’s acts were precisely move. The latter might have occurred through a identical. On this view, for Booth to kill Lincoln strictly autonomic response had Booth been ner- was simply for him to do something that caused vous enough, and then the moving of the finger Lincoln’s death – which was in fact nothing more would not have counted as an action at all, much than to move his finger – and similarly for his fir- less as intentional. Avoiding such “wayward ing the gun. There is also a compromise account, causal chains” requires accounting for the agent’s on which Booth’s actions are related as part to voluntary control over what occurs in genuinely whole, each consisting in a longer segment of the intentional action – a difficult task when bodily causal chain that terminates with Lincoln’s actions are held to be basic. Volitional accounts death. The action of killing Lincoln consisted, on have greater success here, since they can hold this view, in the entire sequence; but that of fir- that movements are intentional only when the ing the gun terminated with the gun’s discharge, agent’s intention is executed through volitional and that of moving the finger with the finger’s activity. But they must sidestep another threat- motion. ened regress: if we call for an activity of willing to When, as in Booth’s case, more than one thing explain why Booth’s moving his finger counts as is accomplished in a single exercise of agency, intentional action, we cannot do the same for some are done by doing others. But if all actions willing itself. Yet on most accounts volition does were performed by performing others, an infinite have the characteristics of intentional behavior. regress would result. There must, then, be a class Volitional theories of action must, then, provide of basic actions – i.e., actions fundamental to the an alternative account of how mental activity can performance of all others, but not themselves be intentional. done by doing something else. There is disagree- Actions are explained by invoking the agent’s ment, however, on which actions are basic. reasons for performing them. Characteristically, Some theories treat bodily movements, such as a reason may be understood to consist in a posi- Booth’s moving his finger, as basic. Others point tive attitude of the agent toward one or another 74065A-g.qxd 08/02/1999 7:35 AM Page 8 act(ion)-token action verb outcome, and a belief to the effect that the out- one describing something that goes on for a time come may be achieved by performing the action but with no inherent endpoint, such as ‘drive’, in question. Thus Emily might spend the sum- ‘laugh’, or ‘meditate’. One can stop doing such a mer in France out of a desire to learn French, and thing but one cannot complete doing it. Indeed, a belief that spending time in France is the best one can be said to have done it as soon as one way to do so. Disputed questions about reasons has begun doing it. An accomplishment verb is one include how confident the agent must be that the describing something that goes on for a time action selected will in fact lead to the envisioned toward an inherent endpoint, such as ‘paint’ (a outcome, and whether obligation represents a fence), ‘solve’ (a problem), or ‘climb’ (a moun- source of motivation that can operate indepen- tain). Such a thing takes a certain time to do, and dently of the agent’s desires. one cannot be said to have done it until it has Frequently, more than one course of action is been completed. An achievement verb is one available to an agent. Deliberation is the process describing either the culmination of an activity, of searching out and weighing the reasons for such as ‘finish’ (a job) or ‘reach’ (a goal); the and against such alternatives. When successfully effecting of a change, such as ‘fire’ (an concluded, deliberation usually issues in a deci- employee) or ‘drop’ (an egg); or undergoing a sion, by which an intention to undertake one of change, such as ‘hear’ (an explosion) or ‘forget’ the contemplated actions is formed. The inten- (a name). An achievement does not go on for a tion is then carried out when the time for action period of time but may be the culmination of comes. Much debate has centered on the ques- something that does. Ryle singled out achieve- tion of how reasons are related to decisions and ment verbs and state verbs (see below) partly in actions. As with intention, an agent’s simply order to disabuse philosophers of the idea that having a reason is not enough for the reason to what psychological verbs name must invariably explain her behavior: her desire to learn French be inner acts or activities modeled on bodily notwithstanding, Emily might have gone to actions or activities. A task verb is an activity verb France simply because she was transferred there. that implies attempting to do something named Only when an agent does something for a reason by an achievement verb. For example, to seek is does the reason explain what is done. It is fre- to attempt to find, to sniff is to attempt to smell, quently claimed that this bespeaks a causal rela- and to treat is to attempt to cure. A state verb is tion between the agent’s strongest reason and a verb (not an action verb) describing a condi- her decision or action. This, however, suggests a tion, disposition, or habit rather than something determinist stance on the free will problem, lead- that goes on or takes place. Examples include ing some philosophers to balk. An alternative is ‘own’, ‘weigh’, ‘want’, ‘hate’, ‘frequent’, and to treat reason explanations as teleological expla- ‘teetotal’. nations, wherein an action is held to be reason- These differences were articulated by Zeno able or justified in virtue of the goals toward Vendler in Linguistics and Philosophy (1967). Tak- which it was directed. But positions that treat ing them into account, linguists have classified reason explanations as non-causal require an verbs (and verb phrases) into four main aspec- alternative account of what it is to decide or act tual classes, which they distinguish in respect to for one reason rather than another. the availability and interpretation of the simple See also EVENT, FREE WILL PROBLEM, present tense, of the perfect tenses, of the pro- INTENTION, PRACTICAL REASONING, VOLI- gressive construction, and of various temporal TION. H.J.M. adverbials, such as adverbs like ‘yesterday’, ‘finally’, and ‘often’, and prepositional phrases act(ion)-token. See ACTIONTHEORY. like ‘for a long time’ and ‘in a while’. Many verbs belong to more than one category by virtue of act(ion)-type. See ACTION THEORY, TYPE THEORY. having several related uses. For example, ‘run’ is both an activity and an accomplishment verb, action verb, a verb applied to an agent and and ‘weigh’ is both a state and an accomplish- describing an activity, an action, or an attempt at ment verb. Linguists single out a class of causative or a culmination of an action. Verbs applying to verbs, such as ‘force’, ‘inspire’, and ‘persuade’, agents may be distinguished in two basic ways: some of which are achievement and some by whether they can take the progressive (con- accomplishment verbs. Such causative verbs as tinuous) form and by whether or not there is a ‘break’, ‘burn’, and ‘improve’ have a correlative specific moment of occurrence/completion of intransitive use, so that, e.g., to break something the action named by the verb. An activity verb is is to cause it to break. 84065A-g.qxd 08/02/1999 7:35 AM Page 9 active euthanasia Adelard of Bath See also PHILOSOPHY OF LANGUAGE, object, in which content and object are indistin- SPEECHACTTHEORY. K.B. guishable. Act-object psychology continues to be of interest to contemporary philosophy because active euthanasia. See EUTHANASIA. of its relation to ongoing projects in phenome- nology, and as a result of a resurgence of study active power. See POWER. of the concept of intentionality and qualia in phi- losophy of mind, cognitive psychology, and activity verb. See ACTION VERB. Gegenstandstheorie, or existent and non-existent intended object theory, in philosophical logic and act-object distinction. See BRENTANO, MEINONG. semantics. See also BRENTANO, HUSSERL, INTENTION- act-object psychology, also called act-content- ALITY, MEINONG, PHILOSOPHY OF MIND, POL- object psychology, a philosophical theory that ISH LOGIC, QUALIA. D.J. identifies in every psychological state a mental act, a lived-through phenomenological content, act of commission. See ACTION THEORY. such as a mental image or description of proper- ties, and an intended object that the mental act act of omission. See ACTION THEORY. is about or toward which it is directed by virtue of its content. The distinction between the act, actual infinite. See ARISTOTLE. content, and object of thought originated with Alois Höfler’s Logik (1890), written in collabora- actualism. See GENTILE. tion with Meinong. But the theory is historically most often associated with its development in actualist. See MODAL LOGIC. Kazimierz Twardowski’s Zur Lehre vom Inhalt und Gegenstand der Vorstellung (“On the Content and actuality. See POSSIBLE WORLDS. Object of Presentations,” 1894), despite Twar- dowski’s acknowledgment of his debt to Höfler. actualization, first. See ARISTOTLE. Act-object psychology arose as a reaction to Franz Brentano’s immanent intentionality thesis actualization, second. See ARISTOTLE. in his influential Psychologie vom empirischen Standpunkt (“Psychology from an Empirical actual occasion. See WHITEHEAD. Standpoint,” 1874), in which Brentano main- tains that intentionality is “the mark of the men- actual reality. See REALITY. tal,” by contrast with purely physical phe- nomena. Brentano requires that intended act utilitarianism. See UTILITARIANISM. objects belong immanently to the mental acts that intend them – a philosophical commitment Adam de Wodeham. See WODEHAM. that laid Brentano open to charges of epistemo- logical idealism and psychologism. Yet Bren- adaptation. See DARWINISM. tano’s followers, who accepted the intentionality of thought but resisted what they came to see as adaptive system. See COMPUTER THEORY. its detachable idealism and psychologism, re- sponded by distinguishing the act-immanent Adelard of Bath (c.1070–c.1145), English phenomenological content of a psychological Benedictine monk notable for his contributions state from its act-transcendent intended object, to the introduction of Arabic science in the West. arguing that Brentano had wrongly and unnec- After studying at Tours, he taught at Laon, then essarily conflated mental content with the exter- spent seven years traveling in Italy, possibly nal objects of thought. Spain, and Cilicia and Syria, before returning to Twardowski goes so far as to claim that content England. In his dialogue On the Same and the and object can never be identical, an exclusion in Different, he remarks, concerning universals, that turn that is vigorously challenged by Husserl in the names of individuals, species, and genera are his Logische Untersuchungen (“Logical Investiga- imposed on the same essence regarded in differ- tions,” 1913, 1922), and by others in the phe- ent respects. He also wrote Seventy-six Questions on nomenological tradition who acknowledge the Nature, based on Arabic learning; works on the possibility that a self-reflexive thought can some- use of the abacus and the astrolabe; a work on fal- times be about its own content as intended conry; and translations of Abu Ma’shar’s Arabic 94065A-g.qxd 08/02/1999 7:35 AM Page 10 adequacy, analytic Advaita Shorter Introduction to Astronomy, al-Khwarizmi’s analysis focused on the “entwinement of myth (fl. c.830) astronomical tables, and Euclid’s and Enlightenment.” The Dialectic of Enlight- Elements. J.Lo. enment (1941) argues that instrumental reason promises the subject autonomy from the forces of adequacy, analytic. See MATERIAL ADEQUACY. nature only to enslave it again by its own repres- sion of its impulses and inclinations. The only adequacy, material. See MATERIAL ADEQUACY. way around this self-domination is “non-identity thinking,” found in the unifying tendencies of a adequation. See HUSSERL. non-repressive reason. This self-defeating dialec- tic is represented by the striking image of Ulysses ad hoc. See CURVE-FITTING PROBLEM. tied to the mast to survive his encounter with the Sirens. Adorno initially hoped for a positive ad hoc hypothesis. See CURVE-FITTING PROBLEM. analysis of the Enlightenment to overcome this genealogy of modern reason, but it is never a adhya atman (Sanskrit, ‘relating to or belonging to developed. Instead, he turned to an increasingly the self’), in early Hindu texts concerning such pessimistic analysis of the growing reification of topics as knowledge of the self, meditating on modern life and of the possibility of a “totally that which appertains to the self, or spiritual administered society.” exercise related to the self (adhyatma-yoga). Later, Adorno held that “autonomous art” can open it became a term for the Supreme Spirit, the up established reality and negate the experience Supreme Self, or the soul, which, in Indian of reification. Aesthetic Theory (1970) develops thought, is other than the ego. In monistic sys- this idea of autonomous art in terms of aesthetic tems, e.g. Advaita Vedanta, the adhyatman is the form, or the capacity of the internal organization one Self that is the impersonal Absolute (Brah- of art to restructure existing patterns of meaning. man), a state of pure consciousness, ultimately Authentic works of art have a “truth-value” in the only Real. In dualist systems, e.g. Dvaita their capacity to bring to awareness social con- Vedanta, it is the true self or soul of each indi- tradictions and antinomies. In Negative Dialectics vidual. R.N.Mi. (1966) Adorno provides a more general account of social criticism under the “fragmenting” con- adiaphora. See STOICISM. ditions of modern rationalization and domina- tion. These and other writings have had a large adicity. See DEGREE. impact on cultural criticism, particularly through Adorno’s analysis of popular culture and the adjunction. See CONJUNCTION INTRODUCTION. “culture industry.” See also CRITICAL THEORY, FRANKFURT Adorno, Theodor Wiesengrund (1903–69), Ger- SCHOOL. J.Bo. man philosopher and aesthetic theorist, one of the main philosophers of the first generation of Advaita, also called Uttara Mimamsa, in Hin- the Frankfurt School of critical theory. With duism, the non-dualistic form of Vedanta. Horkheimer, Adorno gave philosophical direc- Advaita Vedanta makes an epistemological dis- tion to the Frankfurt School and its research tinction (not a metaphysical one) between the projects in its Institute for Social Research. An level of appearance and the level of reality. This accomplished musician and composer, Adorno marks off how things appear versus how they first focused on the theory of culture and art, are; there appear to be a multitude of distinct working to develop a non-reductionist but mate- persons and physical objects, and a personal rialist theory of art and music in many essays deity, whereas there is only ineffable Brahman. from the 1930s. Under the influence of Walter This doctrine, according to Advaita, is taught in Benjamin, he turned toward developing a the Upanishads and realized in an esoteric “micrological” account of cultural artifacts, view- enlightenment experience called moksha. The ing them as “constellations” of social and histor- opposing evidence provided by all experiences ical forces. that (a) have a subject-consciousness-object As his collaboration with Horkheimer in- structure (e.g., seeing a sunset) and evidence a creased, Adorno turned to the problem of a self- distinction between what one experiences and defeating dialectic of modern reason and oneself, or (b) have a subject/content structure freedom. Under the influence of the seemingly (e.g., feeling pain) and evidence a distinction imminent victory of the Nazis in Europe, this between oneself and one’s states, is dismissed on 104065A-g.qxd 08/02/1999 7:35 AM Page 11 adventitious ideas aesthetics the ground that these experiences involve “the malist and less formalist. It should be added that making of distinctions.” Critics claim that moksha theories of art are typically complex, including itself, as an experience in which something definitions of art, recommendations concerning allegedly is learned or grasped, also must involve what we should attend to in art, analyses of the “the making of distinctions.” See also nature of the aesthetic, recommendations con- VEDANTA. K.E.Y. cerning the making of aesthetic evaluations, etc.; and each of these components may be more for- adventitious ideas. See IDEA. malist or less so. Those who use the concept of form mainly adverbial theory. See PERCEPTION. wish to contrast the artifact itself with its rela- tions to entities outside itself – with its represent- Aenesidemus. See SKEPTICISM, SKEPTICS. ing various things, its symbolizing various things, its being expressive of various things, its being aesthetic attitude, the appropriate attitude or the product of various intentions of the artist, its frame of mind for approaching art (or nature or evoking various states in beholders, its standing other objects or events) so that one might both in various relations of influence and similarity to appreciate its intrinsic perceptual qualities, and preceding, succeeding, and contemporary works, as a result have an aesthetic experience. etc. There have been some, however, who in The aesthetic attitude has been construed in emphasizing form have meant to emphasize not many ways: (1) as disinterested, so that one’s just the artifact but the perceptible form or design experience of the work is not affected by any of the artifact. Kant, e.g., in his theory of aesthetic interest in its possible practical uses, (2) as a “dis- excellence, not only insisted that the only thing tancing” of oneself from one’s own personal con- relevant to determining the beauty of an object is cerns, (3) as the contemplation of an object, its appearance, but within the appearance, the purely as an object of sensation, as it is in itself, form, the design: in visual art, not the colors but for its own sake, in a way unaffected by any cog- the design that the colors compose; in music, not nition or knowledge one may have of it. These the timbre of the individual sounds but the for- different notions of aesthetic attitude have at mal relationships among them. times been combined within a single theory. It comes as no surprise that theories of music There is considerable doubt about whether have tended to be much more formalist than the- there is such a thing as an aesthetic attitude. ories of literature and drama, with theories of the There is neither any special kind of action nor visual arts located in between. any special way of performing an ordinary action See also AESTHETICS. N.P.W. that ensures that we see a work as it “really is,” and that results in our having an aesthetic expe- aesthetic property, a property or quality such as rience. Furthermore, there are no purely sensory being dainty, garish, graceful, balanced, charm- experiences, divorced from any cognitive con- ing, majestic, trite, elegant, lifeless, ugly, or beau- tent whatsoever. Criticisms of the notion of aes- tiful. By contrast, non-aesthetic properties are thetic attitude have reinforced attacks on properties that require no special sensitivity or aesthetics as a separate field of study within phi- perceptiveness to perceive – such as a painting’s losophy. being predominantly blue, its having a small red See also AESTHETIC PROPERTY, AESTHET- square in a corner or a kneeling figure in the ICS, BEAUTY. S.L.F. foreground, or that the music becomes louder at a given point. Sometimes it is argued that a spe- aesthetic form. See AESTHETIC FORMALISM, AES- cial perceptiveness or taste is needed to perceive THETICS. a work’s aesthetic qualities, and that this is a defining feature of a property’s being aesthetic. A aesthetic formalism, the view that in our interac- corollary of this view is that aesthetic qualities tions with works of art, form should be given pri- cannot be defined in terms of non-aesthetic qual- macy. Rather than taking ‘formalism’ as the ities, though some have held that aesthetic qual- name of one specific theory in the arts, it is bet- ities supervene on non-aesthetic qualities. See ter and more typical to take it to name that type also AESTHETICS, BEAUTY, SUPERVENIENCE. of theory which emphasizes the form of the art- S.L.F. work. Or, since emphasis on form is something that comes in degrees, it is best to think of theo- aesthetics, the branch of philosophy that exam- ries of art as ranged on a continuum of more for- ines the nature of art and the character of our 114065A-g.qxd 08/02/1999 7:35 AM Page 12 aesthetics aesthetics experience of art and of the natural environ- ceramics are not art because their functions are ment. It emerged as a separate field of philo- primarily utilitarian, and novels were for a long sophical inquiry during the eighteenth century time not listed among the “fine arts” because in England and on the Continent. Recognition of they are not embodied in a sensuous medium. aesthetics as a separate branch of philosophy Debates continue to arise over new media and coincided with the development of theories of art what may be new art forms, such as film, video, that grouped together painting, poetry, sculp- photography, performance art, found art, furni- ture, music, and dance (and often landscape gar- ture, posters, earthworks, and computer and dening) as the same kind of thing, les beaux arts, electronic art. Sculptures these days may be or the fine arts. Baumgarten coined the term made out of dirt, feces, or various discarded and ‘aesthetics’ in his Reflections on Poetry (1735) as mass-produced objects, rather than marble or the name for one of the two branches of the bronze. There is often an explicit rejection of study of knowledge, i.e., for the study of sensory craft and technique by twentieth-century artists, experience coupled with feeling, which he and the subject matter has expanded to include argued provided a different type of knowledge the banal and everyday, and not merely mytho- from the distinct, abstract ideas studied by logical, historical, and religious subjects as in “logic.” He derived it from the ancient Greek years past. All of these developments raise ques- aisthanomai (‘to perceive’), and “the aesthetic” tions about the relevance of the category of has always been intimately connected with sen- “fine” or “high” art. sory experience and the kinds of feelings it Another set of issues in philosophy of art con- arouses. cerns how artworks are to be interpreted, appre- Questions specific to the field of aesthetics are: ciated, and understood. Some views emphasize Is there a special attitude, the aesthetic attitude, that artworks are products of individual efforts, which we should take toward works of art and so that a work should be understood in light of the natural environment, and what is it like? Is the producer’s knowledge, skill, and intentions. there a distinctive type of experience, an aes- Others see the meaning of a work as established thetic experience, and what is it? Is there a spe- by social conventions and practices of the artist’s cial object of attention that we can call the own time, but which may not be known or aesthetic object? Finally, is there a distinctive understood by the producer. Still others see value, aesthetic value, comparable with moral, meaning as established by the practices of the epistemic, and religious values? Some questions users, even if they were not in effect when the overlap with those in the philosophy of art, such work was produced. as those concerning the nature of beauty, and Are there objective criteria or standards for whether there is a faculty of taste that is exer- evaluating individual artworks? There has been cised in judging the aesthetic character and value much disagreement over whether value judg- of natural objects or works of art. ments have universal validity, or whether there Aesthetics also encompasses the philosophy of can be no disputing about taste, if value judg- art. The most central issue in the philosophy of ments are relative to the tastes and interests of art has been how to define ‘art’. Not all cultures each individual (or to some group of individuals have, or have had, a concept of art that coincides who share the same tastes and interests). A judg- with the one that emerged in Western Europe ment such as “This is good” certainly seems to during the seventeenth and eighteenth cen- make a claim about the work itself, though such turies. What justifies our applying our concept to a claim is often based on the sort of feeling, the things people in these other cultures have understanding, or experience a person has produced? There are also many pictures (includ- obtained from the work. A work’s aesthetic or ing paintings), songs, buildings, and bits of writ- artistic value is generally distinguished from sim- ing, that are not art. What distinguishes those ply liking it. But is it possible to establish what pictures, musical works, etc., that are art from sort(s) of knowledge or experience(s) any given those that are not? Various answers have been work should provide to any suitably prepared proposed that identify the distinguishing fea- perceiver, and what would it be to be suitably tures of art in terms of form, expressiveness, prepared? It is a matter of contention whether a intentions of the maker, and social roles or uses work’s aesthetic and artistic values are indepen- of the object. dent of its moral, political, or epistemic stance or Since the eighteenth century there have been impact. debates about what kinds of things count as Philosophy of art has also dealt with the nature “art.” Some have argued that architecture and of taste, beauty, imagination, creativity, repre- 124065A-g.qxd 08/02/1999 7:35 AM Page 13 affirming the consequent African philosophy sentation, expression, and expressiveness; style; is unwritten. For someone who is interested in whether artworks convey knowledge or truth; studying, say, Chinese or Arabic philosophy, the the nature of narrative and metaphor; the written works of the individual thinkers are importance of genre; the ontological status of available; African philosophy, by contrast (with artworks; and the character of our emotional the exception of Ethiopian philosophy), has pro- responses to art. duced no written philosophical works. Work in the field has always been influenced The lack of written philosophical literature in by philosophical theories of language or mean- Africa’s cultural past is the outstanding reason ing, and theories of knowledge and perception, for the persistent skepticism about the existence and continues to be heavily influenced by psy- of African philosophy often entertained by schol- chological and cultural theory, including ver- ars. There are some who would withhold the sions of semiotics, psychoanalysis, cognitive psy- term ‘philosophy’ from African traditional chology, feminism, and Marxism. Some theorists thought and would reserve that term for the in the late twentieth century have denied that philosophical works being written by individual the aesthetic and the “fine arts” can legitimately African philosophers today. There are others be separated out and understood as separate, who, on the basis of (i) their own conception of autonomous human phenomena; they argue the nature of philosophy, (ii) their sense of the instead that these conceptual categories them- history of the development of philosophical ideas selves manifest and reinforce certain kinds of in other cultures, (iii) their conviction about the cultural attitudes and power relationships. These importance of the universal character of the theorists urge that aesthetics can and should be human capacity to wonder, or of the curiosity eliminated as a separate field of study, and that that leads some individuals in various cultures to “the aesthetic” should not be conceived as a spe- raise fundamental questions about human life cial kind of value. They favor instead a critique and experience, or (iv) their conviction that lit- of the roles that images (not only painting, but eracy is not a necessary condition for philoso- film, photography, and advertising), sounds, nar- phizing, would apply ‘philosophy’ to African rative, and three-dimensional constructions traditional thought, even though some of them have in expressing and shaping human attitudes would want to characterize it further as ethno- and experiences. philosophy or folk philosophy. Two assumptions See also AESTHETIC ATTITUDE, AESTHETIC made about the character of African traditional PROPERTY, BEAUTY, EXPRESSION THEORY OF thought have earned it those labels: one is the ART, INSTITUTIONAL THEORY OF ART. S.L.F. alleged communal (collective) subscription to a ‘monolithic’ set of ideas or beliefs; the other is the affirming the consequent. See FORMAL FALLACY. alleged lack of individualist elements in tradi- tional thought. These assumptions have led a fortiori argument, an argument that moves some scholars to believe that African thought is from the premises that everything which pos- a system of ideas or beliefs unanimously held by sesses (a) certain characteristic(s) will possess a whole tribe (ethnos), even though it may be some further characteristic(s) and that certain argued that thought as such is always the prod- things possess the relevant characteristic(s) to an uct of an individual intellect. An individual may eminent degree to the conclusion that a fortiori refine or build on the philosophical work of (even more so) these things will possess the fur- another individual, but the product will still be ther characteristic(s). The second premise is an individual intellectual enterprise. often left implicit, so a fortiori arguments are What seems to have happened in Africa is that often enthymemes. An example of an a fortiori due to lack of a doxographic tradition, the ideas argument can be found in Plato’s Crito: We owe of unnamable (because unidentifiable) individu- gratitude and respect to our parents and so als that gained currency among the wider com- should do nothing to harm them. Athenians owe munity became part of the pool of communal even greater gratitude and respect to the laws of thought, as if they were the thought or a pro- Athens and so a fortiori should do nothing to duction of a whole ethnos, and expressed in its harm those laws. See also ENTHYMEME, SYL- oral literature: in proverbs, myths and folk tales, LOGISM. R.P. rituals, religious beliefs, art symbols, customs, and traditions. These would, in fact, constitute African philosophy, the philosophy produced by the warp and woof of the fabric of traditional the preliterate cultures of Africa, distinctive in philosophy in Africa. that African philosophy in the traditional setting An extensive and profound critical evaluation 134065A-g.qxd 08/02/1999 7:35 AM Page 14 agama agent causation of concepts and values of traditional thought can position to contribute to the emergence of a be the starting point of modern African philoso- modern African philosophy that would naturally phy. The reason is that most of the traditional comprise a multiplicity of individual philosophi- concepts, beliefs, and values have not relaxed cal ideas, arguments, and positions. K.G. their grip on modern African life and thought. But the modern African philosophy will also agama (Sanskrit, ‘what has come down’), an have to include the conceptual responses to the authoritative religious text of an Indian sect. circumstances, experiences, and problems of There are Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist agamas. The modern African societies. This aspect of the Hindu agamas fall into three main classes: Vaif- philosophical enterprise will have to deal with pava texts concerning the worship of Vishnu, the critical analysis, interpretation, and assess- Saiva texts dealing with worship of Siva, and ment of the changes that traditional values and Tantric texts regarding worship of Sakti. Saivism, ideas are going through in response to the pres- e.g., has twenty-eight agamas. An agama may sures, both internal and external, weighing give instructions regarding making temples or heavily on them through the ethos of contem- idols, offer meditation techniques, teach philo- porary life. Thus, African philosophy will not be sophical doctrines, or commend methods of wor- a unique system, a windowless monad impervi- ship. The Mahayana Buddhist term for the basic ous to external influences. But it is conceiv- teachings of the Theravada Buddhist tradition is able–perhaps expected – that it will have some ‘agama’. K.E.Y. characteristics of its own. As to the central themes of African philosophy, agape, unselfish love for all persons. An ethical what one can appropriately do at this stage of its theory according to which such love is the chief development is indicate some of the persistent virtue, and actions are good to the extent that assumptions, beliefs, and values embedded in they express it, is sometimes called agapism. African cultural and historical experiences. Agape is the Greek word most often used for love These would undoubtedly include: supernatural- in the New Testament, and is often used in mod- ism – ideas about God and other spiritual entities ern languages to signify whatever sort of love the conceived in African ontologies, the dualistic or writer takes to be idealized there. In New Testa- monistic perception of the external world, the ment Greek, however, it was probably a quite (alleged) religiosity or spirituality of the African general word for love, so that any ethical ideal life, human destiny, and the moral life; person- must be found in the text’s substantive claims, hood and communitarianism – social and humanis- rather than in the linguistic meaning of the tic ethics, notions of the community and the word. R.M.A. common good, the nature of the good life, the status of individuality in African socioethical agathon, Greek word meaning ‘a good’ or ‘the thought; political ideas – chiefship and traditional good’. From Socrates onward, agathon was taken political authority, traditional ideas of democ- to be a central object of philosophical inquiry; it racy, democratic thought in a communitarian has frequently been assumed to be the goal of all framework, consensual politics and decision rational action. Plato in the simile of the sun in making, political legitimacy, corruption and the Republic identified it with the Form of the political morality; and tradition and modernity – Good, the source of reality, truth, and intelligi- the notion of culture, ethnicity and nationhood, bility. Aristotle saw it as eudaimonia, intellectual the nature and development of national culture or practical virtue, a view that found its way, via and identity, the concept of development, tech- Stoicism and Neoplatonism, into Christianity. nology, society, and values. Modern theories of utility can be seen as con- These themes and others have generated var- cerned with essentially the same Socratic ques- ious ideas that must be critically analyzed and tion. R.C. evaluated by contemporary African philoso- phers, who would in this way create a modern agent-based ethics. See VIRTUE ETHICS. African philosophy with origins in the compre- hensive culture and many-sided experiences of agent causation, the idea that the primary cause the African, yet aspects of which may be consid- of an event is a substance; more specifically, cau- ered by other cultures to be worthwhile. Thanks sation by a substance, as opposed to an event. to the literary culture they have inherited, con- Thus a brick (a substance) may be said to be the temporary African philosophers, through their cause of the breaking of the glass. The expression own individual analyses and arguments, are in a is also used more narrowly by Reid and others for 144065A-g.qxd 08/02/1999 7:35 AM Page 15 agent-neutral Ailly, Pierre d’ the view that an action (or event) is caused by an Agriculture School. See HSü HSING. exertion of power by some agent endowed with will and understanding. Thus, a person may be ahamkara (Sanskrit, ‘I-maker’, ‘I-crier’), in said to be the cause of her action of opening the Hindu thought, the ego or faculty that gives the door. In this restricted sense (Reid called it “the sense of ‘I’ or individual personality; by exten- strict and proper sense”), an agent-cause must sion, egotism, pride, conceit. In the Sankhya and have the power to cause the action or event and Yoga systems, it is the third element of ever- the power not to cause it. Moreover, it must be changing Nature evolving in creation. From it “up to” the agent whether to cause the event or evolves the remainder of the phenomenal world. not to cause it. (It is not “up to” the brick whether Other than Nature, which includes the individ- to cause or not to cause the breaking of the glass.) ual intellect (buddhi), the faculty of perception The restricted sense of agent causation devel- (manas), the organs, and the senses, is the oped by Reid is closely tied to the view that the unchanging individual self (puruca, Atman). The agent possesses free will. human predicament results from the ignorant Medieval philosophers distinguished the inter- identification of oneself with Nature rather than nal activity of the agent from the external event the true self. In earlier texts the cosmic sense of produced by that activity. The former was called ahamkara dominates as the means by which the “immanent causation” and the latter “transeunt Creator formulates Himself to create the world. causation.” These terms have been adapted by R.N.Mi. Chisholm and others to mark the difference between agent causation and event causation. ahanta, Sanskrit word meaning ‘indestructible’, The idea is that the internal activity is agent- ‘unchangeable’, ‘eternal’. In traditional Hindu caused by the person whose activity it is; philosophical thought, the truly real was whereas the external event is event-caused by thought to be indestructible and eternal. Thus, the internal activity of the agent. because the Upanishadic Brahman and its sub- See also CAUSATION, FREE WILL PROBLEM. jective counterpart, the Atman, were regarded as W.L.R. the truly real, they were thought to be unchangeable and eternal. The Hindu religious agent-neutral. See UTILITARIANISM. classic, the Bhagavad Gita (probably written between the fifth and the second century B.C.), agent-relative. See UTILITARIANISM. made ahanta a well-known concept through the teachings of Krishna, who advised Arjuna that agnoiology (from Greek agnoia, ‘ignorance’), the even though one’s body may perish one’s soul is study of ignorance, its quality, and its conditions. eternal and indestructible, thus implying that the L.P.P. human soul contains the essence of the divine reality. See also BHAGAVAD GITA, BRAHMAN. agnosticism (from Greek a-, ‘not’, and gnastos, D.K.C. ‘known’), term invented by Thomas Henry Hux- . ley in 1869 to denote the philosophical and reli- ahimsa (Sanskrit), traditionally and literally, gious attitude of those who claim that meta- nonviolence to living creatures; for modern physical ideas can be neither proved nor dis- Indian thinkers, a positive sense of kindness to proved. Huxley wrote, “I neither affirm nor deny all creatures. To the Jains, ahimsa was a vow to the immortality of man. I see no reason for injure no living being (jiva) in thought, word, or believing it, but on the other hand, I have no deed. Many Buddhists practice ahimsa as a pre- means of disproving it. I have no a priori objec- cept that denies the existence of the ego, since tion to the doctrine.” injuring another is an assertion of egoism. With Agnosticism is a form of skepticism applied to the modern period, particularly Gandhi, ahimsa metaphysics, especially theism. The position is was equated with self-sacrificial love for all sometimes attributed to Kant, who held that we beings. For Gandhi it was the first vow of the cannot have knowledge of God or immortality satyagrahi, the one who “held onto Truth,” the but must be content with faith. Agnosticism nonviolent resister. See also GANDHI, JAINISM. should not be confused with atheism, the belief R.N.Mi. that no god exists. See also ATHEISM. L.P.P. Ahura Mazda. See ZOROASTRIANISM. agreement, method of. See MILL’s METHODS. Ailly, Pierre d’. See D’AILLY. 154065A-g.qxd 08/02/1999 7:35 AM Page 16 aisthesis akrasia aisthesis. See ARISTOTLE. action of a certain sort, or better to do one thing than another. Enkrateia, on that view, is the aitia (Greek), cause. Originally referring to power (kratos) to act as one judges best in the face responsibility for a crime, this Greek term came of competing motivation. Akrasia is a want or to be used by philosophers to signify causality in deficiency of such power. (Aristotle himself lim- a somewhat broader sense than the English ited the sphere of both states more strictly than ‘cause’– the traditional rendering of aitia – can is now done, regarding both as concerned specif- convey. An aitia is any answer to a why-ques- ically with “pleasures and pains and appetites tion. According to Aristotle, how such questions and aversions arising through touch and taste” ought to be answered is a philosophical issue 1150a9–10.) addressed differently by different philosophers. Philosophers are generally more interested in He himself distinguishes four types of answers, incontinent and continent actions than in the cor- and thus four aitiai, by distinguishing different responding states of character. Various species of types of questions: (1) Why is the statue heavy? incontinent or akratic behavior may be distin- Because it is made of bronze (material aitia). (2) guished, including incontinent reasoning and Why did Persians invade Athens? Because the akratic belief formation. The species of akratic Athenians had raided their territory (moving or behavior that has attracted most attention is efficient aitia). (3) Why are the angles of a trian- uncompelled, intentional action that conflicts gle equal to two right angles? Because of the tri- with a better or best judgment consciously held angle’s nature (formal aitia). (4) Why did by the agent at the time of action. If, e.g., while someone walk after dinner? Because (or for the judging it best not to eat a second piece of pie, sake) of his health (final aitia). Only the second you intentionally eat another piece, you act of these would typically be called a cause in Eng- incontinently–provided that your so acting is lish. Though some render aitia as ‘explanatory uncompelled (e.g., your desire for the pie is not principle’ or ‘reason’, these expressions inaptly irresistible). Socrates denied that such action is suggest a merely mental existence; instead, an possible, thereby creating one of the Socratic aitia is a thing or aspect of a thing. See also ARIS- paradoxes. TOTLE, EXPLANATION. E.C.H. In “unorthodox” instances of akratic action, a deed manifests weakness of will even though it akasa, Sanskrit word translated as ‘ether’ or accords with the agent’s better judgment. A boy ‘space’. Indian philosophical systems recognized who decides, against his better judgment, to par- various ontological categories, including that of ticipate in a certain dangerous prank, might – substance. Akasa was thought of as a substance owing to an avoidable failure of nerve – fail to because it was believed to be the substratum of execute his decision. In such a case, some would sound. Because akasa was understood to trans- claim, his failure to act on his decision manifests mit sound waves, the term is better translated as weakness of will or akrasia. If, instead, he mas- ‘ether’ than ‘space’, but scholars are not unani- ters his fear, his participating in the prank might mous on this. Akasa, though extended in space, manifest strength of will, even though his so act- was viewed as a non-material substance. It was ing conflicts with his better judgment. thought of as all-pervading, infinite, indivisible The occurrence of akratic actions seems to be and imperceivable, being inferred from the a fact of life. Unlike many such (apparent) facts, sensed quality of sound. D.K.C. this one has received considerable philosophical scrutiny for nearly two and a half millennia. A akrasia, also spelled acrasia, Greek term for weak- major source of the interest is clear: akratic ness of will. Akrasia is a character flaw, also called action raises difficult questions about the con- incontinence, exhibited primarily in intentional nection between thought and action, a connec- behavior that conflicts with the agent’s own val- tion of paramount importance for most ues or principles. Its contrary is enkrateia philosophical theories of the explanation of (strength of will, continence, self-control). Both intentional behavior. Insofar as moral theory akrasia and enkrateia, Aristotle says, “are con- does not float free of evidence about the etiology cerned with what is in excess of the state char- of human behavior, the tough questions arise acteristic of most people; for the continent abide there as well. Ostensible akratic action, then, by their resolutions more, and the incontinent occupies a philosophical space in the intersection less, than most people can” (Nicomachean Ethics of the philosophy of mind and moral theory. 1152a25–27). These resolutions may be viewed See also ACTION THEORY, INTENTION, as judgments that it would be best to perform an PRACTICALREASONING, VOLITION. A.R.M. 164065A-g.qxd 08/02/1999 7:35 AM Page 17 akcara Albertus Magnus akcara (Sanskrit, ‘imperishable’), the highest served on a commission that condemned the Tal- reality in a variety of Hindu thought systems. mud. He left Paris to found the first Dominican From earliest times it also meant ‘syllable’, studium generale in Germany at Cologne in 1248. reflecting the search for the ultimate reality by From 1252 until old age, Albert was repeatedly Vedic priest-thinkers and the early primacy given asked to be an arbiter and peacemaker. After to the sacred utterance as the support of the ritual serving briefly as bishop of Regensburg in 1260, order of the universe, later identified as the sylla- he was ordered to preach the crusade of 1263– ble Om. In later texts and the systematic thinkers 64 in Germany. He spent his last years writing in it refers to the highest reality, which may be a Cologne. personal supreme being or an impersonal Albert contributed to philosophy chiefly as a absolute, such as the Highest Self (paramatman) commentator on Aristotle, although he occa- of Shankara (700–50). Non-technically, it can be sionally reached different conclusions from Aris- used in any thought system of any entity believed totle. Primarily, Albert was a theologian, as is to be imperishable. R.N.Mi. evident from his extensive commentary on Peter Lombard’s Sentences and his commentaries on the alaya-vijñana, Sanskrit term meaning literally Old and New Testaments. As a theologian, he ‘storehouse consciousness’, a category developed customarily developed his thought by comment- by Indian Buddhist metaphysicians to solve some ing on traditional texts. For Albert, Aristotle specific philosophical problems, notably those of offered knowledge ascertainable using reason, delayed karmic effect and causation at a temporal just as Scripture, based on God’s word, tells of the distance. The alaya-vijñana “stores,” in unactual- supernatural. Albert saw Aristotle’s works, many ized but potential form, as “seeds,” the results of newly available, as an encyclopedic com- an agent’s volitional actions. These karmic pendium of information on the natural universe; “seeds” may come to fruition at a later time. Most included here is the study of social and political Buddhists think of moments of consciousness conditions and ethical obligations, for Aris- (vijñana) as intentional (having an object, being totelian “natural knowledge” deals with human of something); the alaya-vijñana is an exception, nature as well as natural history. Aristotle is the allowing for the continuance of consciousness Philosopher; however, unlike Holy Scripture, he when the agent is apparently not conscious of must be corrected in places. Like Holy Scripture, anything (such as during dreamless sleep), and so though, Aristotle is occasionally obscure. To rec- also for the continuance of potential for future tify these shortcomings one must rely on other action during those times. See also BHAVAN NGA, authorities: in the case of Holy Scripture, refer- VA ASANA A. P.J.G. ence is to the church fathers and established interpreters; in the case of Aristotle, to the Peri- Albert of Saxony (1316–90), terminist logician patetics. The term ‘Peripatetics’ extends to mod- from lower Saxony who taught in the arts fac- ern as well as ancient authors–al-Farabi, ulty at Paris, 1351–62. He never finished his the- Avicenna (Ibn-Sina), and Averroes (Ibn-Rushd), ology degree, as, under the influence of Buridan as well as Themistius and Alexander of Aphro- and Nicholas of Oresme, he turned to mathe- disias; even Seneca, Maimonides, and “our” matics, physics, and logic. He was a founder of Boethius are included. the University of Vienna in 1365 and was bishop For the most part, Albert saw Plato through of Halberstadt from 1366. His works on logic the eyes of Aristotle and Averroes, since apart include Logic, Questions on the Posterior Analytics, from the Timaeus very little of Plato’s work was Sophismata, Treatise on Obligations, and Insolubilia. available in Latin. Albert considered the Liber de He also wrote questions on Aristotle’s physical causis a work of Aristotle, supplemented by al- works and on John of Sacrobosco’s De Sphaera, Farabi, Avicenna, and al-Ghazali and translated and short treatises on squaring the circle and on into Latin. When he commented on the Liber de the ratio of the diameter to the side of a square. causis, Albert was not aware that this Neoplatonic His work is competent but rarely original. See work –which speaks of the world emanating also TERMINIST LOGIC. J.Lo. from the One as from a first cause – was based on Proclus and ultimately on Plotinus. But Albert’s Albert the Great. See ALBERTUS MAGNUS. student, Aquinas, who had better translations of Aristotle, recognized that the Liber de causis was Albertus Magnus, also called Albert the Great not an Aristotelian work. (c.1200–80), German Dominican philosopher- Albert’s metaphysics, which is expounded in theologian. As a Parisian master of theology, he his commentaries on Aristotle’s Metaphysics and 174065A-g.qxd 08/02/1999 7:35 AM Page 18 Albinus alchemy on the Liber de causis, contains profoundly contra- expression is number. Following al-Farabi and dictory elements. His inclination to synthesis led Avicenna, Albert’s interpretation of these doc- him to attempt to reconcile these elements – as trines emphasizes not only the uninterrupted on social and ecclesiastical questions he often continuity of the flow of “nows,” but also the sought peace through compromise. In his quantity of time, i.e., the series of discrete, sepa- Metaphysicsand Physics and in his On the Heavens rate, and clearly distinct numbers. Albert’s treat- and On Generation and Corruption, Aristotle pre- ment of time did not lend itself well to later sented the world as ever-changing and taught consideration of time as a dimension; his concept that an unmoved mover (“thought thinking of time is therefore not well suited to accommo- itself”) maintained everything in movement and date our unified concept of space-time. animation by allowing its spiritual nature to be The use of the pseudo-Aristotelian De propri- seen in all its cold, unapproachable beauty. The etatibus elementorum in De causis proprietatum ele- Liber de causis, on the other hand, develops the mentorum gave Albert’s worldview a strong theory that the world emanates from the One, astrological flavor. At issue here is how the plan- causing everything in the world in its pantheistic ets influence the earth and mankind. Particularly creativity, so that the caused world returns in important is the influence of Jupiter and Saturn mystic harmony to the One. Thus Albert’s on fire and the seas; when increased, it could pro- Aristotelian commentaries, begun in 1251–52, duce fiery conflagrations, and when circum- culminated in 1265 with his commentary on a scribed, floods. work whose pseudo-Aristotelian character he Albert was encyclopedic: a scientist and was unable to recognize. Nevertheless, the scholar as well as a philosopher and theologian. Christian Neoplatonism that Albert placed on an In addition to the works mentioned, he produced Aristotelian basis was to exert an influence for commentaries on Pseudo-Dionysius, a Summa de centuries. creaturis, a Summa Theologica, and many other In natural philosophy, Albert often arrived at treatises. Unlike other commentators, his expo- views independent of Aristotle. According to sition was continuous, an extensive paraphrase; Aristotle’s Physics, motion belongs to no single he provided a complete Latin and Christian phi- category; it is incomplete being. Following losophy. Even in his lifetime, he was a named Avicenna and Averroes, Albert asks whether “be- authority; according to Roger Bacon, his views coming black,” e.g. – which ceases when change were often given as much weight as those of ceases and blackness is finally achieved – differs Aristotle, Avicenna, and Averroes. His students from blackness essentially (essentia) or only in or followers include Aquinas, Ulrich of Strass- its being (esse). Albert establishes, contrary to burg (d.1278?), Theodoric of Freiberg (d.1310?), Avicenna, that the distinction is only one of Giles of Lessines (d.1304?), Meister Eckhart, being. Johannes Tauler (d.1361), Henry Suso (d.1366), In his discussions of place and space, stimu- and Jan van Ruysbroeck (d.1381). lated by Avicenna, Albert also makes an original See also ARISTOTLE, NEOPLATONISM, PETER contribution. Only two dimensions – width and LOMBARD. P.Hoß. breadth – are essential to place, so that a fluid in a bottle is framed by the inner surface of the bot- Albinus. See COMMENTARIES ON PLATO, MIDDLE tle. According to Albert, the significance of the PLATONISM. third dimension, depth, is more modest, but nonetheless important. Consider a bucket of alchemy, a quasi-scientific practice and mystical water: its base is the essential part, but its round art, mainly ancient and medieval, that had two walls maintain the cohesion of the water. broad aims: to change baser metals into gold and For Aristotle, time’s material foundation is dis- to develop the elixir of life, the means to immor- tinct from its formal definition. Materially, the tality. Classical Western alchemy probably origi- movement of the fixed stars is basic, although nated in Egypt in the first three centuries A.D. time itself is neither movement nor change. (with earlier Chinese and later Islamic and Rather, just as before and after are continuous in Indian variants) and was practiced in earnest in space and there are earlier and later moments in Europe by such figures as Paracelsus and Newton movement as it proceeds through space, so until the eighteenth century. Western alchemy time– being the number of motion – has earlier addressed concerns of practical metallurgy, but and later moments or “nows.” The material of its philosophical significance derived from an time consists of the uninterrupted flow of the early Greek theory of the relations among the indivisible nows, while time’s form and essential basic elements and from a religious-allegorical 184065A-g.qxd 08/02/1999 7:35 AM Page 19 Alcinous Alexander of Hales understanding of the alchemical transmutation Alexander, Samuel (1859–1938), Australian- of ores into gold, an understanding that treats born British philosopher. Born in Sydney, he was this process as a spiritual ascent from human educated at Balliol College, Oxford, and taught toward divine perfection. The purification of for most of his career at the University of Man- crude ores (worldly matter) into gold (material chester. His aim, which he most fully realized in perfection) was thought to require a transmut- Space, Time, and Deity (1920), was to provide a ing agent, the philosopher’s stone, a mystical sub- realistic account of the place of mind in nature. stance that, when mixed with alcohol and He described nature as a series of levels of exis- swallowed, was believed to produce immortality tence where irreducible higher-level qualities (spiritual perfection). The alchemical search for emerge inexplicably when lower levels become the philosopher’s stone, though abortive, re- sufficiently complex. At its lowest level reality sulted in the development of ultimately useful consists of space-time, a process wherein points experimental tools (e.g., the steam pump) and of space are redistributed at instants of time and methods (e.g., distillation). J.D.T. which might also be called pure motion. From complexities in space-time matter arises, fol- Alcinous. See MIDDLE PLATONISM. lowed by secondary qualities, life, and mind. Alexander thought that the still-higher quality of Alcmaeon of Croton. See PRE-SOCRATICS. deity, which characterizes the whole universe while satisfying religious sentiments, is now in Alembert, Jean Le Rond d’. See D’ALEMBERT. the process of emerging from mind. See also PHILOSOPHY OF MIND. J.W.A. alethic modalities, historically, the four central ways or modes in which a given proposition Alexander of Aphrodisias (fl. A.D. c.200), Greek might be true or false: necessity, contingency, philosopher, one of the foremost commentators possibility, and impossibility. (The term ‘alethic’ on Aristotle in late antiquity. He exercised con- derives from Greek aletheia, ‘truth’.) These siderable influence on later Greek, Arabic, and modalities, and their logical interconnectedness, Latin philosophy through to the Renaissance. On can be characterized as follows. A proposition the problem of universals, Alexander endorses a that is true but possibly false is contingently true (e.g., brand of conceptualism: although several partic- that Aristotle taught Alexander); one that is true ulars may share a single, common nature, this and not-possibly (i.e., “impossibly”) false is necessar- nature does not exist as a universal except while ily true (e.g., that red things are colored). Like- abstracted in thought from the circumstances wise, a proposition that is false but possibly true is that accompany its particular instantiations. contingently false (e.g., that there are no tigers); Regarding Aristotle’s notorious distinction and one that is false and not-possibly true is neces- between the “agent” and “patient” intellects in sarily false (e.g., that seven and five are fourteen). On the Soul III.5, Alexander identifies the agent Though any one of the four modalities can be intellect with God, who, as the most intelligible defined in terms of any other, necessity and pos- entity, makes everything else intelligible. As its sibility are generally taken to be the more fun- own self-subsistent object, this intellect alone is damental notions, and most systems of alethic imperishable; the human intellect, in contrast, modal logic take one or the other as basic. Dis- perishes at death. Of Alexander’s many commen- tinct modal systems differ chiefly in regard to taries, only those on Aristotle’s Metaphysics A–d, their treatment of iterated modalities, as in the Prior Analytics I, Topics, On the Senses, and proposition It is necessarily true that it is possibly true Meterologicsare extant. We also have two polemi- that it is possibly true that there are no tigers. In the cal treatises, On Fate and On Mixture, directed weakest of the most common systems, usually against the Stoics; a psychological treatise, the De called T, every iterated modality is distinct from anima (based on Aristotle’s); as well as an assort- every other. In the stronger system S4, iterations ment of essays (including the De intellectu) and his of any given modality are redundant. So, e.g., Problems and Solutions. Nothing is known of the above proposition is equivalent to It is neces- Alexander’s life apart from his appointment by sarily true that it is possibly true that there are no the emperor Severus to a chair in Aristotelian tigers. In the strongest and most widely accepted philosophy between 198 and 209. See also system S5, all iteration is redundant. Thus, the ARISTOTLE, CONCEPTUALISM, STOICISM. V.C. two propositions above are both equivalent sim- ply to It is possibly true that there are no tigers. Alexander of Hales (c.1185–1245), English Fran- See also CONTINGENT, MODAL LOGIC. C.M. ciscan theologian, known as the Doctor Irrefraga- 19

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