The uncertainty principle is the claim that knowledge necessarily embraces error and that "reality" is not subject to the finer strictures of formal logic.
A case in point are Gettier cases, which see.
A concept by Quine denoting insufficient evidence, not unlike ablation.
Uninterpreted symbols are variables or neutral symbols in logic or math. It was thought that it was possible to apply uninterpreted symbols to language and obtain the truth-functional properties of sentences, but then example were devised to show that such use of uninterpreted symbols leads to error, e.g., a rose is red and a rose is blue translates as "x is red and blue" or "x is both y and z".
Imagine quantifying that: there is a class x with properties either y or
z, or there is a class x with subtypes y and z and there is a subtype y
which belong to the class bit with the property y and so on for the z.
Unity of self
(1) We use structures to mean tendencies and patterns of thought, thought that comes structured or informed in a certain way, ways of thinking that keep coming back to mind in a structured way. More realistically (if also more obscurely) the unity of self is the operative, intuitive awareness of itself as one and multiple, as continuous yet fragmentary. The circularity of the unity of self consists in that it is constantly "overcoming" the temporal fragmentation of existence, yet forever "breaking down" into the multiplicity of experience.
(2) The unity of self is the awareness of the specificity of self. Since awareness is instantaneous and cognition is subconscious, the unity of self implies ascription. We only have the propositional instant of awareness, but we ascribe all the propositions in cognition to the specific self. Are newborns aware of the unity of self? Babies can distinguish between types of sensations and between specific sensations. Therefore, they are
implicitly aware of the unity of self. They cannot express it. Their behaviour demonstrates this awareness. Their behaviour is ascriptive to their specific selves.
(3) The unity of self is the awareness of the specificity of self.
The unity of self is in awareness and it can only be in awareness.
The specific self is in subconscious mind.
It is from the awareness of the unity of self that we have the concepts of personality and of the continuity of thought.
But personality and continuity of thought are interpretations.
Cognition can be defined as the specific, unconscious or unwitting knowledge and use of basic-cog's. Knowledge is basically knowing how to use basic-cog's. This definition fuses the what with the how of knowledge. It is a perfect synthesis on cognition. There is an universal consensus as to what is or what is not knowledge. The essence of this consensus can be found in the unconscious and unwitting nature of our cognitive processes, e.g., we perceive but to do so we do not have to know the rules of perception. When we make a claim about a "universal consensus", the implication is that we must have issues and debate and conclusions. But there are none. The "debate" took place in nature eons ago, so to speak, and it is present in our unwitting knowledge of basic-cog's, if it assumed that the best proof of knowing something is acting efficaciously on such knowledge.
Let us assume two tokens or specimens of the same form of life appeared. They interacted. If they could not interact, they disappeared. It was "agreed" that they knew how to interact.
Suppose we have tokens of different forms of life. Again, the different sets of specimens had to know how to interact among themselves and between them. They knew this or else they would disappear.
This fundamental process of knowing how to interact can be carried upwards to higher forms of life until we reach man. But suppose it is argued that there was no "debate" at all and that this is just as it was in nature. But suppose that the process that engendered life also produced within forms of life individuals that did not know how to interact successfully or did not know how to interact as efficiently as other individuals. Well, figuratively speaking, they were out of the debate or they lost the debate. The cognitive processes that characterize us were shaped by a process of selection of the more successful traits. This process of selection is tantamount to a "debate" in which some positions were not as valid as others and that the positions that emerged were the valid ones. It was not necessary, e.g., to reach a conscious agreement on this, but also it was obvious that an "agreement" was reached that, e.g., certain forms of sensitivity to stimuli were better than others.
All I seem to be doing here is trying to express evolution in terms of propositions.
But the transposition works!
This universal consensus must extend to general propositions about cognition and about propositional bases. We know that all propositions are either basic-cog's or inferences. There are of course areas of cognition where disputation can arise. But there are also fundamental tenets that humanity is agreed upon, e.g., that perception and logic yield valid propositions. This universal consensus is manifest in the typology of propositions. We as individuals know which cognitive processes are valid and which are controversial.
Without knowing it the newborn "believes" in sensation to the extent that it reacts to stimuli. This is another concrete manifestation of the "universal consensus" on cognition. It is in every newborn. We do not need the impedimenta of debate.
There is an universal consensus on what are valid and what are not valid propositions. There is nothing in the propositions themselves to make them valid or invalid. Validity or invalidity is in our possession of innate basic-cog's. Therefore, the ultimate definition of knowledge is that it is our ability to use basic-cog's, and in order to know knowledge it is necessary to know basic-cog's.
Use and mention
The use of a word is what the word designates. I use a word to refer to something. To mention the word is refer to the word itself. I mention the word to say something about the word itself
Use: "Boston is populous"; and mention: "Boston' is disyllabic".
In Kant's terminology: use = synthetic, mention = analytic.
in Carnap's sense: use = empirical, mention = a priori.
Douglas Seanor and N.Fotton, eds,Hare and Critics: Essays on `Moral Thinking', with comments by R.M.Hare (Oxford: Clarendon) in TLS, July 14-20 1989, p.784
"The preference in my expanded set can be added up in order to determine what I on balance prefer universally (i.e., for both the actual case and the hypothetical cases exactly like the actual one except that I step into the shoes and preferences of other parties)...The view that an act is right if and only if no alternative act would produce more net preference satisfaction is called preference satisfaction act-utilitarianism."
Samuel Scheffler on Shelley Kagan,The Limits of Morality (Oxford: Clarendon), in TLS, September 1-7 1989, p.941
"Kagan argues at length that ordinary morality lacks an adequate justification for either options [permissions to refrain from maximizing on many occasions when maximizing is not actually prohibited] or constraints [prohibitions against performing acts of certain types even when doing so would maximize the overall good]. He portrays it as poised between two extreme positions. One is consequentialism, which includes neither options nor constraints, and which takes the unsually demanding view that we ought always to act in such a way as to produce the greatest good for humanity as a whole. The other is some version of egoism or nihilism...Kagan often represents himself as an advocate, not of consequentialism simpliciter, but rather of `extremism', the view that the right act is the one which, of those that do not violate whatever constraints there may be, will produce the greatest overall good. If, as Kagan believes, there are no constraints, then extremism is simply equivalent to consequentialism. But even if there are constraints, the truth of extremism would continue to mean that it was wrong ever to give one's own interest priority over those of humanity as a whole."
J.P.Griffin on T.L.S.Sprigge, The Rational Foundations of Ethics (Routledge and Kegan) in TLS, March 17-23 1989, p.287
"The basic argument for his utilitarianism, Sprigge says, is that `the good or the bad...can only occur in, or as a stage of, consciousness, since goodness and badness are one with pleasurableness and unpleasurableness'", to which he adds, however, that "if we face up to how things really are, we accept, as utilitarians do, the equal reality of other people's pleasurable experiences". But the utilitarian claim is "stronger". "It claims, namely, that good is to be maximized over persons, that any loss to you is justified if it produces a greater gain to me even if I am already riding high and you are in misery ('impartial maximization')."
Samuel Scheffler on James Griffin, Well-Being: Its meaning, measurements and moral importance(Oxford: Clarendon Press), in TLS, August 7 1987, p. 835
"The centrepiece of Griffin's analysis is his account of what human well-being consists in. Within utilitarianism, there are two dominant traditions about well-being. One tradition associates it with the experiencing of pleasureable
mental states and the avoidance of painful ones. The other tradition takes
well-being to be a matter of having one's desires or preferences
satisfied. Griffin defends a version of the desire view, but his version
has some distinctive twists. He identifies well-being with the
satisfaction of informed desires, and what counts as an informed desire
turns out to be a fairly complicated matter. Most notably, informed
desires `have to be shaped by appreciation of the nature of their
objects'...Griffin's last suggestion involves his idea that morality may usefully be thought of as a `multi-level structure', consisting of (1) a general criterion of right and wrong action, (2) a `practical decision procedure', which tells us how to decide what to do when we are operating under the normal constraints and limitations of every day life, (3) a `reflective decision procedure' to guide our thinking in exceptional cases when the normal constraints are lacking, and (4) a `political decision procedure' for resolving questions at the social level."
D. D. Raphael on P. J. Kelly,
Utilitarianism and Distributive Justice: Jeremy Bentham and the Civil Law (OUP), in the THES, 18-1-91, p.18
"Utilitarianism says that the criterion or test of right action is always, at bottom, the good or bad consequences that are intended (or, in some versions, that are achieved)...There are critical situations in which justice conflicts with social utility: justice then stands against the competing claim of the general interest."
Utilitarianism and pragmatism
Bentham introduces the notion of "social utilitarianism", which Mill adopts and develops further.
American pragmatism (William James) is affiliated to British empiricism and utilitarianism.