Dictionary of Arguments


Philosophical and Scientific Issues in Dispute
 
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The author or concept searched is found in the following 5 entries.
Disputed term/author/ism Author
Entry
Reference
Democracy Protagoras Gaus I 307
Democracy/Protagoras/Keyt/Miller: [a] hotly debated issue concerning the Great Speech is whether it is a defence of democracy. ((s) For the Great Speech see >Protagoras/Plato). The Great Speech does contain a defence of the democratic practice of the Athenian assembly of allowing every citizen a voice about issues of justice and temperance (Prot. 322d—323a). This has led one scholar to claim that Protagoras 'has produced for the first time in human history a theoretical basis for participatory democracy' (Kerferd, 1981(1): 144) and another to say that Protagoras is 'the first
democratic political theorist in the history of the world' (Farrar, 1988(2): 77).
Relativism: furthermore, there does seem to be a natural alliance between Protagorean relativism and democracy if the locus of relativism is the individual (Taylor, 1976(3): 83—4). By such relativism whatever seems good to citizen A is good for A, and whatever seems good to citizen B is good
for B (Tht. 166c—d). But A and B cannot be friends if they thwart each other's good. Thus, if there are to be the bonds of friendship, without which a polis cannot exist, A must take account of what seems good to B, and B of what seems good to A, and in general each citizen must take account of what seems good to every other citizen. Otherwise stasis results. But this 'live and let live' philosophy is one of the defining features of democracy.
Vs: On the other hand, when the locus of relativity is shifted from the
Gaus I 308
individual to the polis, Protagorean relativism does not seem to favour democracy over any other form of government: if oligarchy or monarchy seems just to the citizens of a polis, oligarchy or monarchy is just for them. (Rosen, 1994(4), is a useful survey of the extensive literature on both sides of this issue.) >Relativism/Protagoras.

1. Kerferd, G. B. (1981) The Sophistic Movement. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
2. Farrar, Cynthia (1988) The Origins of Democratic Thinking: The Invention of Politics in Classical Athens. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
3. Taylor, C. C. W. (1976) Plato Protagoras. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
4. Rosen, F. (1994) 'Did Protagoras justify democracy?' Polis, 13: 12-30.

Keyt, David and Miller, Fred D. jr. 2004. „Ancient Greek Political Thought“. In: Gaus, Gerald F. & Kukathas, Chandran 2004. Handbook of Political Theory. SAGE Publications


Gaus I
Gerald F. Gaus
Chandran Kukathas
Handbook of Political Theory London 2004
Nature Aristotle Gaus I 312
Nature/Aristotle/Keyt/Miller: Plato had already attempted to combat Protagorean relativism and conventionalism by an appeal to nature, but the nature to which he appealed was either divine reason (in the Laws) or a realm of incorporeal and changeless Forms existing beyond time and space (in the Republic). (PlatoVsRelativism, PlatoVsProtagoras: >Protagoras/Plato, >Relativism/Protagoras). AristotleVsPlato: though Aristotle too wishes to combat relativism by an appeal to nature, he wishes to do so without invoking a suprasensible standard or a supernatural being: his aim is to avoid Platonism as well as relativism. (...) Aristotle, by identifying nature with the realm of sensible objects and of change (Metaph. XII.l.1069a30-b2), brings it down to earth.
Nature/Aristotle: Aristotle's concept of nature, unlike Plato's, would be recognizable to a modern physicist or biologist.
Gaus I 313
Nature makes its first appearance in three basic theorems that stand as the portal to the Politics: (1) the polis exists by nature, (2) man is by nature a political animal, and (3) the polis is prior by nature to the individual (Pol. 1.2). These statements are referred to as theorems because they are not simply asserted but argued for.
Problems: nothing concerning them or the arguments supporting them is uncontroversial. The very content of the theorems is contested, for it is unclear what 'nature' means in each of them. Aristotle distinguishes several senses of 'nature' (Phys. II.1; Metaph. V .4), the most important of which correspond to his four causes (final, formal, efficient, and material); but he usually relies on the context to indicate the intended sense of a particular occurrence of the term. It has even been suggested that 'nature' has an entirely different sense in the Politics than it has in the physical and metaphysical treatises.
Questions: what is Aristotle tacitly assuming? Are the arguments valid or invalid? How plausible are his premises? The tenability of Aristotle's naturalism depends upon the answer to these questions. (For the controversy see Ambler, 1985(1); Keyt, 1991b(2); Depew, 1995(3);
Miller, 1995(4): 27-66; and Saunders, 1995(5): 59-71.)
Aristotle's analysis of nature leads to a complex treatment of the antithesis between physis and
nomos. >Nomos/Aristotle.

Phys.: Aristotle Physics
Pol: Aristotle Politics
Metaph.: Aristotle Metaphysics

1. Ambler, Wayne (1985) 'Aristotle's understanding of the naturalness of the city'. Review of Politics, 47: 163—85.
2. Keyt, David (1991b) 'Three basic theorems in Aristotle's Politics'. In David Keyt and Fred D. Miller, eds, A Companion to Aristotle's Politics. Oxford: Blackwell.
3. Depew, David J. (1995) 'Humans and other political animals in Aristotle's History of Animals'. Phronesis, 40: 159-81.
4. Miller, Fred D. (1995) Nature, Justice, and Rights in Aristotle's Politics. Oxford: Claredon.
5. Saunders, Trevor J. (1995) Aristotle Politics Books I and 11. Oxford: Clarendon.

Keyt, David and Miller, Fred D. jr. 2004. „Ancient Greek Political Thought“. In: Gaus, Gerald F. & Kukathas, Chandran 2004. Handbook of Political Theory. SAGE Publications


Gaus I
Gerald F. Gaus
Chandran Kukathas
Handbook of Political Theory London 2004
Nature Plato Gaus I 312
Nature/Plato/Keyt/Miller: Plato had already attempted to combat Protagorean relativism and conventionalism by an appeal to nature, but the nature to which he appealed was either divine reason (in the Laws) or a realm of incorporeal and changeless Forms existing beyond time and space (in the Republic). (PlatoVsRelativism, PlatoVsProtagoras: >Protagoras/Plato, >Relativism/Protagoras). AristotleVsPlato: though Aristotle too wishes to combat relativism by an appeal to nature, he wishes to do so without invoking a suprasensible standard or a supernatural being: his aim is to avoid Platonism as well as relativism. (...) Aristotle, by identifying nature with the realm of sensible objects and of change (Metaph. XII.l.1069a30-b2), brings it down to earth.
Nature/Aristotle: Aristotle's concept of nature, unlike Plato's, would be recognizable to a modern physicist or biologist. >Nature/Aristotle.

Metaph.: Aristotle Metaphysics


Keyt, David and Miller, Fred D. jr. 2004. „Ancient Greek Political Thought“. In: Gaus, Gerald F. & Kukathas, Chandran 2004. Handbook of Political Theory. SAGE Publications


Gaus I
Gerald F. Gaus
Chandran Kukathas
Handbook of Political Theory London 2004
Relativism Plato Gaus I 306
Relativism/Plato/Keyt/Miller: Socrates' account of Protagoras is combined with spirited criticism. ( (>Relativism/Protagoras.) 1) One question that arises about Protagoras' universal relativism is whether it is self-refuting (Tht. 170a—171c). Applied to itself the Protagorean formula asserts that 'man is the measure' is frue for those for whom it seems true. But to most men the Protagorean formula seems false. Thus, the formula is more false than true. (For more on self-refutation see Burnyeat, 1976(1).)
2) A second problem, a problem in the political realm, relates to Protagoras' claim to be wiser than others and on that basis to deserve his high fees (Tht. 167c—d). What role can there be for a wise man, a sophist, one might
Gaus I 307
wonder, if truth is relative? Protagoras: Speaking through Socrates, Protagoras has an interesting answer to this question. He claims not access to truth that is denied to lesser mortals but rather an ability to change the way things appear to poleis: when harmful things seem just to a given polis the wise man can make beneficial things seem and be just to that polis.
3) This response leads directly to a third problem over which Protagorean relativism seems
to break down (Tht. 177c—179b). The laws of a polis, Socrates claims, aim at what is advantageous
for the polis in the future. According to the man-measure formula, what seems to a lawmaker
to be to the future advantage of his polis is to the future advantage of his polis; but when the future arrives, it may seem to be (and hence actually be) to his polis's disadvantage. What seemed true may not be true.


1. Burnyeat, Myles (1976) 'Protagoras and self-refutation in Plato's Theaetetus'. Philosophical Review, 85: 172—85.

Keyt, David and Miller, Fred D. jr. 2004. „Ancient Greek Political Thought“. In: Gaus, Gerald F. & Kukathas, Chandran 2004. Handbook of Political Theory. SAGE Publications


Gaus I
Gerald F. Gaus
Chandran Kukathas
Handbook of Political Theory London 2004
Social Contract Protagoras Gaus I 308
Social contract/Protagoras/Keyt/Miller: [an] issue of debate is whether a theory of the social contract can be found in the Great Speech. ((s) For the Great Speech see >Protagoras/Plato).
There are scholars on both sides of this issue. Although political relativism is consistent with a
social contract, the elimination argument usually used to attribute a social contract theory to
Protagoras - not by nature or by the gods, therefore by a social contract (see, for example, Guthrie,
1969(1): 137) - tacitly assumes a false disjunction.
Another possibility, noted in passing by Plato, is that laws are due to chance in the guise of war,
poverty, and disease (Laws IV.709a—b). Schiappa (1991)(2) is a recent book-length study of
Protagoras. >Relativism/Protagoras, >Democracy/Protagoras.


1. Guthrie, W. K. C. (1969) A History of Greek Philosophy. Vol. 3, The Fifth-Century Enlightenment. Cambridge: Cambridge Umversity Press.
2. Schiappa, Edward (1991) Protagoras and Logos: A Study in Greek Philosophy and Rhetoric. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press.


Keyt, David and Miller, Fred D. jr. 2004. „Ancient Greek Political Thought“. In: Gaus, Gerald F. & Kukathas, Chandran 2004. Handbook of Political Theory. SAGE Publications


Gaus I
Gerald F. Gaus
Chandran Kukathas
Handbook of Political Theory London 2004

The author or concept searched is found in the following 2 controversies.
Disputed term/author/ism Author Vs Author
Entry
Reference
Garfinkel, H. Putnam Vs Garfinkel, H. Field IV 415
Relativism/Field pro: the relativism to which we are led here is coherent and manageable. Because it only refers to values, not to facts. >Relativism. Relativism/Garfinkel: (p. 119f): relativism about values is itself no evaluation, therefore there is no reason to believe that it itself is only relatively true. (Garfinkel "one liner").
PutnamVsGarfinkel: his argument is not applicable here.
Relativism/Protagoras/Plato/Field: this relativism is different: this claims that it is pointless to say that there is objectively Fs, but only Fs relative to us.
PutnamVsProtagoras: this relativism is incoherent. (Field ditto).
Internal realism/iR/Putnam: its own internal realism is immune to the objection VsProtagoras because Putnam says that our standards of rationality are objectively correct. So it is not a true relativism.

Putnam I
Hilary Putnam
Von einem Realistischen Standpunkt
In
Von einem realistischen Standpunkt, Vincent C. Müller Frankfurt 1993

Putnam I (a)
Hilary Putnam
Explanation and Reference, In: Glenn Pearce & Patrick Maynard (eds.), Conceptual Change. D. Reidel. pp. 196--214 (1973)
In
Von einem realistischen Standpunkt, Vincent C. Müller Reinbek 1993

Putnam I (b)
Hilary Putnam
Language and Reality, in: Mind, Language and Reality: Philosophical Papers, Volume 2. Cambridge University Press. pp. 272-90 (1995
In
Von einem realistischen Standpunkt, Vincent C. Müller Reinbek 1993

Putnam I (c)
Hilary Putnam
What is Realism? in: Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 76 (1975):pp. 177 - 194.
In
Von einem realistischen Standpunkt, Vincent C. Müller Reinbek 1993

Putnam I (d)
Hilary Putnam
Models and Reality, Journal of Symbolic Logic 45 (3), 1980:pp. 464-482.
In
Von einem realistischen Standpunkt, Vincent C. Müller Reinbek 1993

Putnam I (e)
Hilary Putnam
Reference and Truth
In
Von einem realistischen Standpunkt, Vincent C. Müller Reinbek 1993

Putnam I (f)
Hilary Putnam
How to Be an Internal Realist and a Transcendental Idealist (at the Same Time) in: R. Haller/W. Grassl (eds): Sprache, Logik und Philosophie, Akten des 4. Internationalen Wittgenstein-Symposiums, 1979
In
Von einem realistischen Standpunkt, Vincent C. Müller Reinbek 1993

Putnam I (g)
Hilary Putnam
Why there isn’t a ready-made world, Synthese 51 (2):205--228 (1982)
In
Von einem realistischen Standpunkt, Vincent C. Müller Reinbek 1993

Putnam I (h)
Hilary Putnam
Pourqui les Philosophes? in: A: Jacob (ed.) L’Encyclopédie PHilosophieque Universelle, Paris 1986
In
Von einem realistischen Standpunkt, Vincent C. Müller Reinbek 1993

Putnam I (i)
Hilary Putnam
Realism with a Human Face, Cambridge/MA 1990
In
Von einem realistischen Standpunkt, Vincent C. Müller Reinbek 1993

Putnam I (k)
Hilary Putnam
"Irrealism and Deconstruction", 6. Giford Lecture, St. Andrews 1990, in: H. Putnam, Renewing Philosophy (The Gifford Lectures), Cambridge/MA 1992, pp. 108-133
In
Von einem realistischen Standpunkt, Vincent C. Müller Reinbek 1993

Putnam II
Hilary Putnam
Representation and Reality, Cambridge/MA 1988
German Edition:
Repräsentation und Realität Frankfurt 1999

Putnam III
Hilary Putnam
Renewing Philosophy (The Gifford Lectures), Cambridge/MA 1992
German Edition:
Für eine Erneuerung der Philosophie Stuttgart 1997

Putnam IV
Hilary Putnam
"Minds and Machines", in: Sidney Hook (ed.) Dimensions of Mind, New York 1960, pp. 138-164
In
Künstliche Intelligenz, Walther Ch. Zimmerli/Stefan Wolf Stuttgart 1994

Putnam V
Hilary Putnam
Reason, Truth and History, Cambridge/MA 1981
German Edition:
Vernunft, Wahrheit und Geschichte Frankfurt 1990

Putnam VI
Hilary Putnam
"Realism and Reason", Proceedings of the American Philosophical Association (1976) pp. 483-98
In
Truth and Meaning, Paul Horwich Aldershot 1994

Putnam VII
Hilary Putnam
"A Defense of Internal Realism" in: James Conant (ed.)Realism with a Human Face, Cambridge/MA 1990 pp. 30-43
In
Theories of Truth, Paul Horwich Aldershot 1994

SocPut I
Robert D. Putnam
Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community New York 2000

Field I
H. Field
Realism, Mathematics and Modality Oxford New York 1989

Field II
H. Field
Truth and the Absence of Fact Oxford New York 2001

Field III
H. Field
Science without numbers Princeton New Jersey 1980

Field IV
Hartry Field
"Realism and Relativism", The Journal of Philosophy, 76 (1982), pp. 553-67
In
Theories of Truth, Paul Horwich Aldershot 1994
Spinoza, B. Rorty Vs Spinoza, B. II (e) 104
World/Mind/Matter/Spinoza/Rorty: two equally valid ways of describing the world: one in terms of matter, then in terms of the mind. The order based on the connection of the corpuscles is the same as the order and connection of our ideas. The mind only knows as long as the body is well and vice versa.  "We know God all the more, the more we understand individual things."
SpinozaVsSocrates: we should not, like Socrates, be discouraged by the fact
that there are no teleological explanations for natural events.
II (e) 105
The Spirit of God is no more and no less than the comprehension of all relations between individual things. RortyVsSpinoza: as soon as the ways of description are recognized as equivalent, the idea of ​​the natural order is in danger. Also both ways of description can be illusory. >Description Levels.
Thus entering the slippery slope down to Kant's unrecognizable thing in itself. Ultimately, the relativism of Protagoras. >Relativism/Protagoras.

Rorty I
Richard Rorty
Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature, Princeton/NJ 1979
German Edition:
Der Spiegel der Natur Frankfurt 1997

Rorty II
Richard Rorty
Philosophie & die Zukunft Frankfurt 2000

Rorty II (b)
Richard Rorty
"Habermas, Derrida and the Functions of Philosophy", in: R. Rorty, Truth and Progress. Philosophical Papers III, Cambridge/MA 1998
In
Philosophie & die Zukunft, Frankfurt/M. 2000

Rorty II (c)
Richard Rorty
Analytic and Conversational Philosophy Conference fee "Philosophy and the other hgumanities", Stanford Humanities Center 1998
In
Philosophie & die Zukunft, Frankfurt/M. 2000

Rorty II (d)
Richard Rorty
Justice as a Larger Loyalty, in: Ronald Bontekoe/Marietta Stepanians (eds.) Justice and Democracy. Cross-cultural Perspectives, University of Hawaii 1997
In
Philosophie & die Zukunft, Frankfurt/M. 2000

Rorty II (e)
Richard Rorty
Spinoza, Pragmatismus und die Liebe zur Weisheit, Revised Spinoza Lecture April 1997, University of Amsterdam
In
Philosophie & die Zukunft, Frankfurt/M. 2000

Rorty II (f)
Richard Rorty
"Sein, das verstanden werden kann, ist Sprache", keynote lecture for Gadamer’ s 100th birthday, University of Heidelberg
In
Philosophie & die Zukunft, Frankfurt/M. 2000

Rorty II (g)
Richard Rorty
"Wild Orchids and Trotzky", in: Wild Orchids and Trotzky: Messages form American Universities ed. Mark Edmundson, New York 1993
In
Philosophie & die Zukunft, Frankfurt/M. 2000

Rorty III
Richard Rorty
Contingency, Irony, and solidarity, Chambridge/MA 1989
German Edition:
Kontingenz, Ironie und Solidarität Frankfurt 1992

Rorty IV (a)
Richard Rorty
"is Philosophy a Natural Kind?", in: R. Rorty, Objectivity, Relativism, and Truth. Philosophical Papers Vol. I, Cambridge/Ma 1991, pp. 46-62
In
Eine Kultur ohne Zentrum, Stuttgart 1993

Rorty IV (b)
Richard Rorty
"Non-Reductive Physicalism" in: R. Rorty, Objectivity, Relativism, and Truth. Philosophical Papers Vol. I, Cambridge/Ma 1991, pp. 113-125
In
Eine Kultur ohne Zentrum, Stuttgart 1993

Rorty IV (c)
Richard Rorty
"Heidegger, Kundera and Dickens" in: R. Rorty, Essays on Heidegger and Others. Philosophical Papers Vol. 2, Cambridge/MA 1991, pp. 66-82
In
Eine Kultur ohne Zentrum, Stuttgart 1993

Rorty IV (d)
Richard Rorty
"Deconstruction and Circumvention" in: R. Rorty, Essays on Heidegger and Others. Philosophical Papers Vol. 2, Cambridge/MA 1991, pp. 85-106
In
Eine Kultur ohne Zentrum, Stuttgart 1993

Rorty V (a)
R. Rorty
"Solidarity of Objectivity", Howison Lecture, University of California, Berkeley, January 1983
In
Solidarität oder Objektivität?, Stuttgart 1998

Rorty V (b)
Richard Rorty
"Freud and Moral Reflection", Edith Weigert Lecture, Forum on Psychiatry and the Humanities, Washington School of Psychiatry, Oct. 19th 1984
In
Solidarität oder Objektivität?, Stuttgart 1988

Rorty V (c)
Richard Rorty
The Priority of Democracy to Philosophy, in: John P. Reeder & Gene Outka (eds.), Prospects for a Common Morality. Princeton University Press. pp. 254-278 (1992)
In
Solidarität oder Objektivität?, Stuttgart 1988

Rorty VI
Richard Rorty
Truth and Progress, Cambridge/MA 1998
German Edition:
Wahrheit und Fortschritt Frankfurt 2000