Archives For Martin Beckstein

Author Information: John Williams, Singapore Management University, johnwilliams@smu.edu.sg

Williams, John. “True Succession and Inheritance of Traditions: Looking Back on the Debate.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 3, no. 9 (2014): 15-29.

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Introduction

Starting with my (1988) and largely continued by David Ruben’s instructive (2013a), a lively debate has occurred over how one is to analyze the concepts of true succession and membership of a tradition in order to identify the source of the intractability typically found in disputes in which two groups each claim that it, but not its rival, is in the tradition of some earlier group.

This debate was initially between myself (2013a, 2013b) and Ruben (2013b, 2013c) but later involved Samuel Lebens (2013a, 2013b), Jonathan Payton (2013a, 2013b), Martin Beckstein (2014a, 2014b) and Ruben (2013d, 2014a, 2014b). The time seems ripe to summarize the main lines of the debate to try to draw some lessons from it as we go along and then indicate possible further lines of inquiry.  Continue Reading…

Author Information: David-Hillel Ruben, University of London, Emeritus, david.ruben1@yahoo.co.uk

Ruben, David-Hillel. “A Further Reply to Beckstein.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 3, no. 6 (2014): 94.

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In Gallie’s (1956) view, in order for there to be essential contested-ness, the game the exemplar team played must be internally complex. The game could be assessed on multiple criteria — e.g., style of play, speed, distinctive method of play, strategy —and so on. Even after it was pointed out to them that there could be multiple true successors, each of the two successor teams might argue that it, and not the other, was the true successor of the exemplar, and both (let us suppose) could cite the same number of different features that it carried over from the exemplar’s game.  Continue Reading…

Author Information:Martin Beckstein, University of Zurich, martin.beckstein@philos.uzh.ch

Beckstein, Martin. “Addressing Ruben’s ‘Internal and External Perspectives’.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 3, no. 5 (2014): 35-36.

The PDF of the article gives specific page numbers. Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1Bfg0-1pr

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In his reply, David-Hillel Ruben (2014) argues that “internal perspectives” on disputes over true succession (i.e. of the parties involved) might well rely on counterfactuals, but that “external perspectives” (i.e. of scholars) ought to dispense with them because they are hard to verify. Continue Reading…

Author Information: David-Hillel Ruben, University of London, Emeritus, david.ruben1@yahoo.co.uk

Ruben, David-Hillel. “Internal and External Perspectives: Reply to Beckstein ” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 3, no. 3 (2014): 55-56.

The PDF of the article gives specific page numbers. Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1Bfg0-1kv

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I want to pick up on a perspective at the end of Martin Beckstein’s contribution, and (I now see) one that Beckstein continues from Samuel Lebens earlier contributions, that I had missed entirely.

My original article was written entirely from an external, ‘objective’ perspective as if by someone outside the dispute about the continuity of a tradition over time. I offered criteria that can be applied by an outsider to ‘judge’ which if either party has a better claim to membership in a tradition. Continue Reading…

Author Information:Martin Beckstein, University of Zurich, martin.beckstein@philos.uzh.ch

Beckstein, Martin. “Traditions and True Successors: A Few Pragmatic Considerations” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 3, no. 3 (2014): 30-36.

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Building upon previous work by John Williams, David-Hillel Ruben has launched an exciting discussion about traditions and true successors that Williams and Ruben themselves, as well as Samuel Lebens and Jonathan Payton, have taken several steps further. In particular, I consider Payton’s proposal for the concept of inheritance of a tradition through a causal-similarity chain convincing (Payton 2013a, 43, “Inheritance*”). While I also concur with Payton in regard to his proposed modifications of Ruben’s initial concept of true succession (Payton 2013a, 41, “Successor*”), I suggest that some further modifications be made. These modifications include, on the one hand, that we incorporate a causal connection into the concept of true successorhood and, on the other hand, that we exclude the possibility that a true successor may develop a retrograde or degenerate version of the predecessor’s cultural heritage. Moreover, I propose to make a small change in the wording, in order to make the concept slightly more flexible and perhaps accommodate to some extent a point made by Lebens. (This change in the wording should, analogically and for the same reasons, be made with regard to the concept of inheritance of a tradition.)  Continue Reading…