Archives For true succession

Jonathan Payton, University of Toronto, jonathan.payton@mail.utoronto.ca

Payton, Jonathan. “Keeping Successorhood and Inheritance Apart: A Reply to Lebens and Ruben.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 3 (1): 14-19.

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

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I want to thank both Sam Lebens and David-Hillel Ruben for their responses to my (2013) essay. In my reply to Lebens, I want to make two points. First, political offices should not be counted as a kind of tradition, so it is no mark against my view that it fails to account for them. Second, if there is an concept of successorhood which must be defined in terms of counterfactual approval rather than qualitative similarity, then this concept ought not to be built into the concept of inheritance; that is, we must allow Y to be an inheritor of X’s tradition without being X’s true successor. In my reply to Ruben, I want to clarify and expand upon my original argument against the requirement that inheritors also be true successors. In doing so, I hope to reinforce the advantage that my own view has over the view that Ruben now adopts.  Continue Reading…

Author Information: Samuel Lebens, University of Notre Dame, samuel_lebens@hotmail.com

Lebens, Samuel. 2013. “True Successors and Counterfactual Approval.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 2 (10): 26-31.

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

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David-Hillel Ruben and John Williams have treated us to a fascinating discussion about the nature of true-succession, faithful-succession, intellectual traditions, and traditions of practice. In these comments, I want to focus on two related aspects of their ongoing discussion, in the hope of forging either (a) a new approach to identity-conditions of a tradition over time, or, at least, (b) a new disambiguation of the term ‘tradition’.

Direction

One issue that has divided the two thinkers can be called the ‘direction debate’. Williams (1988, 161) had once argued that one of the criteria for being a true-successor of a past individual (or, we can widen it to being a true-successor of a past group or community) would have to be forward-looking, from the perspective of the predecessor. The criterion in question (which I paraphrase in my own words) was this:

FORWARD-LOOKING CRITERION: An individual (or group) B is a true successor of an individual (or group) A iff A would, all things being equal, have developed more or less the same central ideas (or practices) as those actually developed by B. Continue Reading…

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

Ruben, David-Hillel. 2013. “Reply to Williams’ Reply.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 2 (10): 21-22.

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

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I wish to thank John Williams again for his careful and insightful response to my earlier reply. I discern three issues from his response that I would like to address.

Issue 1

The analysis of the concept of true succession. On this, I think that Williams is partly right and partly wrong. I think we need two concepts:

(a) One on which a later group or individual merely holds similar and consistent beliefs with an earlier one, and;
(b) Another on which the latter group is additionally influenced by the earlier.

I am not overly concerned about the names we give those two concepts.  I called (a) true succession. But I think that Williams is right in contending that my use of faithful succession as a synonym for true succession might be misleading. Continue Reading…

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

Ruben, David-Hillel. 2013. “Reply to Williams.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 2 (8): 8-9.

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

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I hope it is clear from my paper (2013) the respect in which I hold Williams’ original paper (“Confucius, Mencius and the notion of true succession”, 1988). He was a pioneer, in my view, in addressing the questions I address. It was his paper that first got me to think about these issues in a philosophical way. If there were anything I could see that he didn’t see, it would only be because I am standing on his shoulders. Continue Reading…