Now showing 1 - 10 of 33
  • Publication
    An Elementary Grammar of Rights and the Law
    (Addleton Academic, 2010-12)
    Rights are many and diverse. They are jural rather than material entities that subsist in a society of rational beings and relate essentially to property, in the limiting case, one’s property in oneself. Law is the product of social evolution and exists to vindicate rights. The conditions for the emergence of law are embodiment, scarcity, rationality and sociability. The context for the emergence of law is dispute resolution. The characteristics of such a customarily evolved law are its severely limited scope, its negativity, and its horizontality. A legal system (or systems) based on the principles of customarily evolved law could answer the needs of social order, namely, the vindication of rights, without permitting the paternalistic interferences with liberty characteristic of contemporary legal systems.
      97
  • Publication
    Reflections on Legal Polycentrism
    (Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2010-03)
    In attempting to promote the libertarian viewpoint, particularly in its anarchic variety, one is faced with a variety of problems. Some problems are theoretical, and they are welltreated in the comprehensive literature;2 other problems, however, are practical or rhetorical and while the theoretical problems (and their solution) are intrinsically the more important it is vital that the practical/rhetorical problems be overcome the latter if the theoretical points are to get a hearing.
      195
  • Publication
    The Computational Metaphor and Cognitive Psychology
    (Taylor & Francis, 1989-10) ;
    The past three decades have witnessed a remarkable growth of research interest in the mind. This trend has been acclaimed as the ‘cognitive revolution’ in psychology. At the heart of this revolution lies the claim that the mind is a computational system. The purpose of this paper is both to elucidate this claim and to evaluate its implications for cognitive psychology. The nature and scope of cognitive psychology and cognitive science are outlined, the principal assumptions underlying the information processing approach to cognition are summarised and the nature of artificial intelligence and its relationship to cognitive science are explored. The ‘computational metaphor’ of mind is examined and both the theoretical and methodological issues which it raises for cognitive psychology are considered. Finally, the nature and significance of ‘connectionism’— the latest paradigm in cognitive science—are briefly reviewed.
      980Scopus© Citations 5
  • Publication
    Seeing ourselves as others see us: The place of reason in Adam Smith's theory of moral sentiments
    (Rowman and Littlefield (Lexington Books), 2012-12)
    In making a feeling or sentiment such as sympathy foundational to his ethical analysis Adam Smith appears to set himself on a collision course with those ethical theories in which reason plays a central role. I shall claim, contrary to appearances, that reason has an important part to play in Smith’s final account of ethics; that what Smith rejects when he appears to reject reason, is a kind of austere ultrarationalism (a la Cudworth, Plato or the Stoics) that would make reason the original independent source of our ethical judgements; and that, in the end, Smith does not reject reason but rather develops a complex theory of morality which permits reason to play a significant role in man’s moral life.
      155
  • Publication
    Meddling in other men's affairs : the case for anarchy
    (Wiley, 2007-12)
    The foundational myth of political theory, the myth of the necessity of the state, is outlined and the question of its moral status raised. The anarchic counterposition is then briefly sketched before some central anti - anarchic arguments are considered and rejected.
      268
  • Publication
    Feser on Rothbard as a philosopher
    (Center for the Study of Innovative Freedom, 2009-08)
    In 'Rothbard as a philosopher' (Feser 2006) Edward Feser harshly criticises the philosophical abilities of Murray Rothbard. According to Feser, Rothbard seems unable to produce arguments that doesn't commit obvious fallacies or produces arguments that fail to address certain obvious objections. His criticism centres on what he regards as Rothbard's principal argument for the thesis of self-ownership. In this paper, I attempt to show that Feser's criticism fails of it purpose and that Rothbard is very far from being the epitome of philosophical ineptitude that Feser takes him to be.
      109
  • Publication
    Teaching Philosophy to the Gifted Young
    (Sage, 2009-09)
    This paper begins by raising the question of whether we should introduce philosophy to the gifted young. Having sketched some of the problems associated with such an introduction, the paper proposes some procedures to make such an introduction possible with as little pain as possible and makes some concrete suggestions to enhance the experience of the philosophical neophyte.
      283Scopus© Citations 1
  • Publication
    Minds and machines
    (American Catholic Philosophical Association, 1992-06)
    The emergence of electronic computers in the last thirty years has given rise to many interesting questions. Many of these questions are technical, relating to a machine’s ability to perform complex operations in a variety of circumstances. While some of these questions are not without philosophical interest, the one question which above all others has stimulated philosophical interest is explicitly non-technical and it can be expressed crudely as follows: Can a machine be said to think and, if so, in what sense? The issue has received much attention in the scholarly journals with articles and arguments appearing in great profusion, some resolutely answering this question in the affirmative, some, equally resolutely, answering this question in the negative, and others manifesting modified rapture. While the ramifications of the question are enormous I believe that the issue at the heart of the matter has gradually emerged from the forest of complications
      217
  • Publication
    Metaphysics, mathematics and metaphor
    (Addleton Academic Publishers, 2008-12)
      61