& Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we examined whether individual differences in amygdala activation in response to negative relative to neutral information are related to differences in the speed with which such information is evaluated, the extent to which such differences are associated with medial prefrontal cortex function, and their relationship with measures of trait anxiety and psychological well-being (PWB). Results indicated that faster judgments of negative relative to neutral information were associated with increased left and right amygdala activation. In (...) the prefrontal cortex, faster judgment time was associated with relative decreased activation in a cluster in the ventral anterior cingulate cor-. (shrink)
The basic idea of his Origin of Species is that in nature there is a process similar to what goes on in the breeding of domestic plants and animals. If a breeder wants to produce a variety with certain characteristics, he/she keeps an eye out for individuals that have some approximation to those characteristics and breeds from them and not from individuals that do not have something like the desired characteristics. The other individuals may be destroyed, or they may just (...) be segregated; at any rate they are not allowed to breed with the selected stock. The breeder follows this policy also with the second generation of the offspring of the selected individuals of the first generation; those that after all do not have the desired characteristics are rejected, those that do are selected to produce the third generation, and so on. The whole process presupposes some degree of variability within the plant or animal being bred from. There have to be spontaneously produced individuals with something like the desired characteristics for the breeder to select. What can be accomplished by selection breeding depends of the range of variation that occurs spontaneously. (Hence the topic of Darwin's book of 1868, Variation of Plants and Animals under Domestication.) See in the Readings book the picture of the different breeds of pigeons from the Illustrated London News, 1864; Darwin was a pigeon fancier. (shrink)
This paper argues that higher-order doubt generates an epistemic dilemma. One has a higher-order doubt with regards to P insofar as one justifiably withholds belief as to what attitude towards P is justified. That is, one justifiably withholds belief as to whether one is justified in believing, disbelieving, or withholding belief in P. Using the resources provided by Richard Feldman’s recent discussion of how to respect one’s evidence, I argue that if one has a higher-order doubt with regards to P, (...) then one is not justified in having any attitude towards P. Otherwise put, no attitude towards the doubted proposition respects one’s higher-order doubt. I argue that the most promising response to this problem is to hold that when one has a higher-order doubt about P, the best one can do to respect such a doubt is to simply have no attitude towards P. Higherorder doubt is thus much more rationally corrosive than non-higher-order doubt as it undermines the possibility of justifiably having any attitude towards the doubted proposition. (shrink)
In this short essay I express my own deep sympathy with Nel Noddings's ethic of care and applaud her stubborn resistance in Happiness and Education to what John Dewey would have called false dualisms, such as those between intelligence and emotion, theory and practice, or vocation and academic studies. However, I question whether the sort of caring relation she depicts so beautifully in this and many other books is sufficiently robust to alone carry the weight of the moral life that (...) she supports, and whether her suspicion of community, while sounding important cautions, does not leave us with an ethical vision that is too thin to deliver the sort of education she prescribes. To this end, I argue that she judges Victor Frankl's conception of freedom too harshly and his response to human suffering with an uncharacteristic lack of charity. Following well-known communitarian arguments of Michael Walzer and Charles Taylor I suggest that some account of a situated human agent who can choose freely to enter into relation is necessary to sustain the role of caring in education that has been Noddings most significant philosophical contribution. (shrink)
Jennifer Nagel (2010) has recently proposed a fascinating account of the decreased tendency to attribute knowledge in conversational contexts in which unrealized possibilities of error have been mentioned. Her account appeals to epistemic egocentrism, or what is sometimes called the curse of knowledge, an egocentric bias to attribute our own mental states to other people (and sometimes our own future and past selves). Our aim in this paper is to investigate the empirical merits of Nagel’s hypothesis about the psychology involved (...) in knowledge attribution. (shrink)
My contribution to this symposium is short and negative: There are no theoretical problems that attach to one’s causing the conditions that permit him to claim a defense to some otherwise criminal act. If one assesses the culpability of an actor at each of the various times he acts in a course of conduct, then it is obvious that he can be nonculpable at T2 but culpable at T1, and that a nonculpable act at T2 has no bearing on whether (...) an actor was culpable at T1 when he caused the circumstances that are exculpatory with respect to his act (or conduct) at T2. Moreover, as I interpret the Model Penal Code, it gets matters close to right on this point. (shrink)
A variation of Fitch’s Paradox is given, where no special rules of inference are assumed, only axioms. These axioms follow from the familiar assumptions which involve rules of inference. We show (by constructing a model) that by allowing that possibly the knower doesn’t know his own soundness (while still requiring he be sound), Fitch’s Paradox is avoided. Provided one is willing to admit that sound knowers may be ignorant of their own soundness, this might offer a way out of the (...) paradox. (shrink)
We argue that C. Darwin and more recently W. Hennig worked at times under the simplifying assumption of an eternal biosphere. So motivated, we explicitly consider the consequences which follow mathematically from this assumption, and the infinite graphs it leads to. This assumption admits certain clusters of organisms which have some ideal theoretical properties of species, shining some light onto the species problem. We prove a dualization of a law of T.A. Knight and C. Darwin, and sketch a decomposition result (...) involving the internodons of D. Kornet, J. Metz and H. Schellinx. A further goal of this paper is to respond to B. Sturmfels’ question, “Can biology lead to new theorems?”. (shrink)
Despite anxieties about the growing power of neo-liberalism, the crisis of the EU and the upsurge of right-wing political movements, it is important to recognize that utopian movements on the left have also in recent years been symbolically revitalized and organizationally sustained. This article analyses three recent social upheavals as utopian civil society movements, placing the 2008 US presidential campaign of Barack Obama, the Egyptian uprising in Tahrir Square and the Occupy Movement in the USA inside the narrative arc that (...) began with the non-violent democratic uprisings against authoritarian governments four decades earlier. In this new utopian surge, however, there is an unprecedented connection of eastern and western impulses, demonstrating that the tide of democratic thought and action is hardly confined to Judeo-Christian civilizations. (shrink)
Consider the problem of allocating a scarce resource to people. A fair decision procedure is one where each person has an equal chance of receiving the resource. An unfair decision procedure is one where the chances are not equal. Normally we think that, in an unfair decision procedure, that the correct way to redress the injustice is by rerunning the allocation using a fair decision procedure. In this paper, I show that this actually creates an overall bias favouring one person, (...) and solutions to this problem are counterintuitive, in that they typically involve introducing additional unfair elements into the situation. (shrink)
This piece is a review essay on Victor Tadros’s The Ends of Harm. Tadros rejects retributive desert but believes punishment can be justified instrumentally without succumbing to the problems of thoroughgoing consequentialism and endorsing using people as means. He believes he can achieve these results through extension of the right of self-defense. I argue that Tadros fails in this endeavor: he has a defective account of the means principle; his rejection of desert leads to gross mismatches of punishment and culpability; (...) and he cannot account for punishment of inchoate crimes. (shrink)
The Philosophy of Criminal Law collects 17 of Doug Husak’s articles on legal theory, 16 of which have been previously published, spanning a period of over two decades. In sum, these 17 articles make a huge and lasting contribution to criminal law theory. There is much wisdom contained in them; and I find surprisingly little to disagree with, making my job as a critical reviewer quite challenging. Most of the points on which Doug and I disagree can be found in (...) my other published work in this field, so I will have little to say about them, except where they illuminate those few points of disagreement that arise in the particular essays I discuss. Most of what I will say will be in accord with Doug’s views and will principally explore their wider implications. The 17 essays in the book cover too many and too varied topics for one review essay. Therefore, I will focus on just three of them: “Rapes Without Rapists: Consent and Reasonable Mistake” (co-authored by George C. Thomas); “Mistakes of Law and Culpability”; and “Already Punished Enough.” Although I generally agree with the upshots of Doug’s arguments in these chapters, I think the issues they raise are worth further exploration. (shrink)
A biologically unavoidable sequence is an infinite gender sequence which occurs in every gendered, infinite genealogical network satisfying certain tame conditions. We show that every eventually periodic sequence is biologically unavoidable (this generalizes König's Lemma), and we exhibit some biologically avoidable sequences. Finally we give an application of unavoidable sequences to cellular automata.
We extend first-order logic to include variadic function symbols, and prove a substitution lemma. Two applications are given: one to bounded quantifier elimination and one to the definability of certain Borel sets.
Inferential Internalists accept the Principle of Inferential Justification (PIJ), according to which one has justification for believing P on the basis of E only if one has justification for believing that E makes probable P. Richard Fumerton has defended PIJ by appeal to examples, and recently Adam Leite has argued that this principle is supported by considerations regarding the nature of responsible belief. In this paper, I defend a form of externalism against both arguments. This form of externalism recognizes what (...) I call the phenomenon of reflective defeat: if one is justified in not believing that E makes probable P, then this defeats whatever justification one has for believing P upon the basis of E. I argue that this modified version of externalism has the virtue of accommodating the intuitions that motivate internalism, without the cost of the vicious regress that makes internalism so unattractive. (shrink)
Inferential internalism holds that for one to be inferentially justified in believing P on the basis of E one must be justified in believing that E makes probable P. Inferential internalism has long been accused of generating a vicious regress on inferential justification that has drastic skeptical consequences. However, recently Hookway and Rhoda have defended a more modest form of internalism that avoids this problem. They propose a form of weak inferential internalism according to which internalist conditions are restricted to (...) only certain kinds of inferential justification. In this paper, I clarify and argue against weak internalism. I contend that while weak internalism avoids the vicious regress, it does so at the cost of compromising its internalist credentials. For I show that unless weak internalism makes an arbitrary distinction between individuals who believe for the very same reasons, the view collapses into externalism. (shrink)
In “Weak Inferential Internalism” I defended the frequently voiced criticism that any internalist account of inferential justification generates a vicious regress. My defense involved criticizing a recent form of internalism, “Weak Inferential Internalism” (WII) defended by Hookway and Rhoda. I argued that while WII does not generate a vicious regress, the position is only distinguishable from externalism insofar as it makes an arbitrary distinction between individuals who believe for the very same reason. Either way, WII is not a defensible internalist (...) account of inferential justification. In his “In Defense of Weak Inferential Internalism,” Rhoda has responded to my dilemma argument. He argues that it is mistaken to assume that WII must be incompatible with externalism, and that contrary to my claims, WII is distinguishable from externalism in several ways. In this reply, I explain why none of Rhoda’s replies suggest that there is a defensible internalist account of inferential justification. (shrink)
Abstract If we define tradition too hastily we leave to one side the question of what the relevance of tradition is for us . Here the concept of tradition is opened up by considering the different views of it taken by Hannah Arendt, Michael Oakeshott and Alasdair MacIntyre. We see that each has put tradition into a fully developed picture of what our predicament is in modernity; and that each has differed in their assessment of what our relation to tradition (...) is or should be. Arendt sees tradition as something which no longer conditions action, Oakeshott sees tradition as something which conditions all action, and MacIntyre sees tradition as something which should condition right action. In each case, the view of tradition is clearly one element in an attempt to see how the most important constituent elements of human existence - variously called the human condition, human conduct, or human virtue - should be understood in a modernity which is ours because it has put the traditional concept of tradition into question. (shrink)
In this article I take up a conceptual question: What is the distinction between ‘the law’ and the behavior the law regulates, or, as I formulate it, the distinction between what is ‘inside’ the law and what is ‘outside’ it? That conceptual question is in play in (at least) three different doctrinal domains: the constitutional law doctrines regarding the limits on the delegation of legislative powers; the criminal law doctrines regarding mistakes of law; and the constitutional rights doctrines that turn (...) on the distinction between state action and the acts of non-state actors. I argue that legal doctrines should turn solely on normative considerations and should not turn on answers to conceptual questions. However, the doctrines I discuss appear to turn on the conceptual question regarding what is ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ the law. I show how each of these doctrinal areas appears to raise this conceptual issue, and I explain how the doctrines might or might not escape being held hostage to conceptual controversy. (shrink)
Iconoclasts? Who, Us? A Reply to Dolinko Content Type Journal Article Category Original Paper Pages 1-7 DOI 10.1007/s11572-012-9143-3 Authors Larry Alexander, San Diego, CA, USA Kimberly Kessler Ferzan, Camden, NJ, USA Journal Criminal Law and Philosophy Online ISSN 1871-9805 Print ISSN 1871-9791.
We have invented, discovered as we were shaping it, and set free from Marc Richir’s philosophy a fundamental element of comprehensibility regarding his phenomenology, which we have called ogkorhythm. The pertinence of this fundamental ogkorhythmic element is also to be found in its great problematic density, giving clarity to that which should be understood by space/time itself in contemporary French phenomenology and, in the context of this contribution, in the work of Max Loreau and Henri Maldiney. Our work mainly concerns (...) the analysis of notions of inherent volume in the work of the former and of rhythm in the work of the latter. Rhythm and volume whose meaning is, in part, derived in the light of ogkorhythm. (shrink)
This paper investigates whether there is a discrepancy between the stated and actual aims in biomechanical research, particularly with respect to hypothesis testing. We present an analysis of one hundred papers recently published in The Journal of Experimental Biology and Journal of Biomechanics, and examine the prevalence of papers which (a) have hypothesis testing as a stated aim, (b) contain hypothesis testing claims that appear to be purely presentational (i.e. which seem not to have influenced the actual study), and (c) (...) have exploration as a stated aim. We found that whereas no papers had exploration as a stated aim, 58% of papers had hypothesis testing as a stated aim. We had strong suspicions, at the bare minimum, that presentational hypotheses were present in 31% of the papers in this latter group. (shrink)
In this paper I defend epistemic circularity by arguing that the “No Self-Support” principle (NSS) is false. This principle, ultimately due to Fumerton ( 1995 ), states that one cannot acquire a justified belief in the reliability of a source of belief by trusting that very source. I argue that NSS has the skeptical consequence that the trustworthiness of all of our sources ultimately depends upon the trustworthiness of certain fundamental sources – sources that we cannot justifiably believe to be (...) reliable. This is a problem, I claim, because if the trustworthiness of all of our sources depends upon sources that we should not believe to be reliable, then a reflective individual should not trust any of his sources at all. The hidden cost of rejecting epistemic circularity is thus the unacceptable skeptical thesis that reflective individuals like you and I have no justified beliefs whatsoever. (shrink)
The Pasadena game is an example of a decision problem which lacks an expected value, as traditionally conceived. Easwaran (2008) has shown that, if we distinguish between two different kinds of expectations, which he calls ‘strong’ and ‘weak’, the Pasadena game lacks a strong expectation but has a weak expectation. Furthermore, he argues that we should use the weak expectation as providing a measure of the value of an individual play of the Pasadena game. By considering a modified version of (...) the Pasadena game, I argue that weak expectations may provide a very poor measure of the value of an individual play of the game, and hence should not be used to value individual plays unless further information is taken into consideration. (shrink)
Decision theory faces a number of problematic gambles which challenge it to say what value an ideal rational agent should assign to the gamble, and why. Yet little attention has been devoted to the question of what an ideal rational agent is, and in what sense decision theory may be said to apply to one. I show that, given one arguably natural set of constraints on the preferences of an idealized rational agent, such an agent is forced to be indifferent (...) among entire families of goods, and hence cannot choose among them. This result illustrates the dangers of speaking of the choices of an ?ideal rational agent? when one does not make precise the exact nature of the idealizing assumptions. The result may also be viewed as providing an upper bound on the kinds of idealizing assumptions which can be made for rational agents, beyond which the very concept of choice becomes attenuated. (shrink)
In making decisions regardmg what to do, people should employ plausible moral standards to defend what they think is morally permissible. One plausible moral standard that is often used is what I refer to as the Rational Person Standard: we, as rational agents, ought to choose the option that has the greatest benefit for us, under the constraint that what we choose does not unfairly limit other people from choosing what they think is best for them. Another way to phrase (...) this standard is: rational agents will not choose an action that will cause uimecessary and avoidable harm. In this paper I will apply this standard to an analysis of a systemic issue common to many moral problems, using sweatshops as an example, that, if ignored, may lead us to make, and act upon, arguments that seem plausible in one context, but ultimately fail when considered from another context. (shrink)
While dominant management thinking is steered by profit maximisation, this paper proposes that sustained organisational growth can best be stimulated by attention to the common good and the capacity of corporate leaders to create commitment to the common good. The leadership thinking of Kautilya and Ashoka embodies this principle. Both offer a common good approach, emphasising the leader's moral and legal responsibility for people's welfare, the robust interaction between the business community and the state, and the importance of moral training (...) of leaders in identifying and promoting the common good. We argue that the complex process of re-orientating corporate priorities towards the common good requires alertness and concerted effort if both business and society are to truly benefit. As Ashoka said: ‘A good deed is a difficult thing’. (shrink)
Simply put, this book is the best short introduction to John Dewey’s philosophy.1 It is lucidly written and is sensitively accurate in things both great and small. It is concise yet broadly informed. It is balanced without straining to say everything, focused without being compressed. It directs the reader to Dewey’s key writings and indicates reliable commentary. It concludes by indicating Dewey’s relevance for contemporary issues: medical ethics, environmentalism, feminism. Nevertheless, that the book appears in a series called “Beginner’s Guides” (...) should be taken therefore with a grain of salt, for it will be helpful to many advanced scholars starting to explore “pragmatism.” There are now so many strange .. (shrink)
In recent years, a number of philosophers have conducted empirical studies that survey people's intuitions about various subject matters in philosophy. Some have found that intuitions vary accordingly to seemingly irrelevant facts: facts about who is considering the hypothetical case, the presence or absence of certain kinds of content, or the context in which the hypothetical case is being considered. Our research applies this experimental philosophical methodology to Judith Jarvis Thomson's famous Loop Case, which she used to call into question (...) the validity of the intuitively plausible Doctrine of Double Effect. We found that intuitions about the Loop Case vary according to the context in which the case is considered. We contend that this undermines the supposed evidential status of intuitions about the Loop Case. We conclude by considering the implications of our findings for philosophers who rely on the Loop Case to make philosophical arguments and for philosophers who use intuitions in general. (shrink)
Whereas The Stag Hunt and the Evolution of Social Structure supplements Evolution of the Social Contract by examining some of the earlier work’s strategic problems in a local interaction setting, no equivalent supplement exists for The Dynamics of Rational Deliberation . In this article, I develop a general framework for modeling the dynamics of rational deliberation in a local interaction setting. In doing so, I show that when local interactions are permitted, three interesting phenomena occur: (a) the attracting deliberative equilibria (...) may fail to agree with any of the Nash equilibria of the underlying game, (b) deliberative dynamics which converged to the same deliberative outcome in The Dynamics of Rational Deliberation may lead to different deliberative outcomes here, and (c) Bayesian deliberation seems to be more likely to avoid nonstandard deliberative outcomes, contrary to the result reported in The Dynamics of Rational Deliberation , which argued in favour of the Brown–von Neumann–Nash dynamics. (shrink)
Experimental philosophy has emerged as a very specific kind of response to an equally specific way of thinking about philosophy, one typically associated with philosophical analysis and according to which philosophical claims are measured, at least in part, by our intuitions. Since experimental philosophy has emerged as a response to this way of thinking about philosophy, its philosophical significance depends, in no small part, on how significant the practice of appealing to intuitions is to philosophy. In this paper, I defend (...) the significance of experimental philosophy by defending the significance of intuitions—in particular, by defending their significance from a recent challenge advanced by Timothy Williamson. (shrink)
Knobe's argument rests on a way of distinguishing performance errors from the competencies that delimit our cognitive architecture. We argue that other sorts of evidence than those that he appeals to are needed to illuminate the boundaries of our folk capacities in ways that would support his conclusions.
Our interest in this paper is to drive a wedge of contention between two different programs that fall under the umbrella of “experimental philosophy”. In particular, we argue that experimental philosophy’s “negative program” presents almost as significant a challenge to its “positive program” as it does to more traditional analytic philosophy.
American philosophy has been dominated by the theme of "Nature."1 From Edwards to Emerson to Dewey to Dennett, American thought has variously invoked Nature. But to articulate a philosophy of Nature is not thereby to espouse a form of "naturalism." In fact, philosophies undertaken in the name of "naturalism" seem to have a different temperament than those that begin with the thought of Nature as such. As a theme, "Nature" invites an expansive mood for reflection, while "naturalism" sounds constrictive and (...) combative. "Nature" disposes the mind to musement, "pondering," theoria, Denken—to becoming Emerson's "transparent eyeball." "Naturalism" has something of a doctrinal, even dogmatic, flavor, since every "-ism" .. (shrink)
"Philosophy and Civilization" is one of Dewey's most important—and most neglected—essays. It is unsettling to anyone who wants to think of Dewey primarily as a "pragmatist." Dewey says the aim of philosophy should be to deal with the meaning of culture and not "inquiry" or "truth": "Meaning is wider in scope as well as more precious in value than is truth and philosophy is occupied with meaning rather than with truth" (LW 3:4).1 Truths are one kind of meaning, but they (...) are only an "island" lying in "the ocean of meanings to which truth and falsity are irrelevant. We do not inquire whether Greek civilization was true or false, but we are immensely concerned to penetrate its meaning," he adds, and continues, "In .. (shrink)
The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) has been the subject of intense interest as a locus of cognitive control. Several computational models have been proposed to account for a range of effects, including error detection, conflict monitoring, error likelihood prediction, and numerous other effects observed with single-unit neurophysiology, fMRI, and lesion studies. Here, we review the state of computational models of cognitive control and offer a new theoretical synthesis of the mPFC as signaling response–outcome predictions. This new synthesis has two interacting (...) components. The first component learns to predict the various possible outcomes of a planned action, and the second component detects discrepancies between the actual and intended responses; the detected discrepancies in turn update the outcome predictions. This single construct is consistent with a wide array of performance monitoring effects in mPFC and suggests a unifying account of the cognitive role of medial PFC in performance monitoring. (shrink)
Recent experimental philosophy arguments have raised trouble for philosophers' reliance on armchair intuitions. One popular line of response has been the expertise defense: philosophers are highly-trained experts, whereas the subjects in the experimental philosophy studies have generally been ordinary undergraduates, and so there's no reason to think philosophers will make the same mistakes. But this deploys a substantive empirical claim, that philosophers' training indeed inculcates sufficient protection from such mistakes. We canvass the psychological literature on expertise, which indicates that people (...) are not generally very good at reckoning who will develop expertise under what circumstances. We consider three promising hypotheses concerning what philosophical expertise might consist in: (i) better conceptual schemata; (ii) mastery of entrenched theories; and (iii) general practical know-how with the entertaining of hypotheticals. On inspection, none seem to provide us with good reason to endorse this key empirical premise of the expertise defense. (shrink)
This book presents a comprehensive overview of what the criminal law would look like if organized around the principle that those who deserve punishment should receive punishment commensurate with, but no greater than, that which they ...
Orthodox criminal law doctrine treats mistakes of law and mistakes of fact differently for purposes of both exculpation and inculpation. Kenneth Simonsâ paper in general defends this orthodoxy. I have earlier criticized the criminal lawâs attempt to distinguish mistakes of law from mistakes of fact, and I continue to maintain, in opposition to Simons, that the distinction is problematic.
Cosmological arguments have received more attention in the past ten years. One reason for this is that versions with restricted or even no reliance on the principle of sufficient reason (PSR) have been formulated. By not relying on PSR – what many consider to be a necessary falsehood – philosophers have been able to escape many of the old criticisms of cosmological arguments. In this essay I survey two recent attempts at presenting a sound version of a cosmological argument. (...) I spend more time on Robert Koons' since his has not yet received the kind of quality attention that the other has. (shrink)
Peter Singer places a stringent requirement on us to come to the aid of those who are suffering, as long as we do not have to give up something of comparable worth. I consider some criticisms of this view here, while arguing in defense of Singer’s conclusion. I presume here that it is morally impermissible to create unnecessary and avoidable harm to innocent people. I argue that if we have an adequate understanding of agent causation and moral responsibility then we (...) can meet these objections. I refer to this as ‘agent-causation responsibility.’ I argue that through our intentional inaction we do cause unnecessary and avoidable suffering to continue and that we are therefore morally required to work towards eliminating it. (shrink)
In the moral realm, our deontic judgments are usually (always?) binary. An act (or omission) is either morally forbidden or morally permissible. 1 Yet the determination of an act's deontic status frequently turns on the existence of properties that are matters of degree. In what follows I shall give several examples of binary moral judgments that turn on scalar properties, and I shall claim that these examples should puzzle us. How can the existence of a property to a specific degree (...) demarcate a boundary between an act's being morally forbidden and its not being morally forbidden? Why aren't our moral judgments of acts scalar in the way that the properties on which those judgments are based are scalar, so that acts, like states of affairs, can be morally better or worse rather than right or wrong? I conceive of this inquiry as operating primarily within the realm of normative theory. Presumably it will give aid and comfort to consequentialists, who have no trouble mapping their binary categories onto scalar properties. For example, a straightforward act utilitarian, for whom one act out of all possible acts is morally required (and hence permissible) and all others morally forbidden, can, in theory at least, provide an answer to every one of the puzzles I raise. And, in theory, so can all other types of act and rule consequentialists. They will find nothing of interest here beyond embarrassment for their deontological adversaries. The deontologists, however, must meet the challenges of these puzzles. And for them, the puzzles may raise not just normative questions, but questions of moral epistemology and moral ontology. Just how do we know that the act consequentialist's way of, say, trading off lives against lives is wrong? For example, do we merely intuit that taking one innocent, uninvolved person's life to save two others is wrong? Can our method of reflective equilibrium work if we have no theory by which to rationalize our intuitions? And what things in the world make it true, if it is true, that one may not make the act consequentialist's tradeoff? I do not provide any answers to these questions any more than I provide answers to the normative ones. But they surely lurk in the background. (shrink)
While Good’s book forces us to recognize the caricatures of Hegel and idealism that have dominated Anglo-American thought, Dewey’s relationship with idealism in general and Hegel in particular remains complex. Good proposes that the main reason for Dewey’s rejection of idealism was World War I. I find this implausible. Good downplays the central influence of James on Dewey, first with the Principles and then with his radical empiricism. By his move to Columbia in 1905 and in his article of that (...) year, “The Postulate of Immediate Empiricism,” Dewey had rejected all types of philosophy that equated reality with the object of knowledge, including idealism and Hegel. For Dewey, reality includes types of experiences that are not instances of knowing and that ideals, functionally understood, are possibilities, not actualities. (shrink)
University based academic Research Ethics Boards (REB) face the particularly difficult challenge of trying to achieve representation from a variety of disciplines, methodologies and research interests. Additionally, many are currently facing another decision – whether to have students as REB members or not. At Ryerson University, we are uniquely situated. Without a medical school in which an awareness of the research ethics review process might be grounded, our mainly social science and humanities REB must also educate and foster awareness of (...) the ethics review process throughout the academic community. Our Board has had and continues to have students as active members. While there are challenges to having students as Board members, these are clearly outweighed by the advantages, for both the academic community and the future of ethically sound research in the social sciences and humanities. Moreover, the challenges are often based on misconceptions and can be easily overcome through increased education and understanding of the research ethics review process by the academic community at large. The purpose of this paper is to describe and discuss the experiences, advantages and challenges of having students as REB members. The advantages of having students as REB members include the following: (1) Students are the proposed participants in many of our reviewed protocols and student members may illuminate unique issues of participation. (2) Students are active and highly engaged members of the REB. (3) Having students on the REB enhances awareness of research ethics within the University. (4) Student REB members have an opportunity to mentor other students and provide leadership for both undergraduate and graduate students. (5) Students are more vigorously recruited than faculty members and often apply for student positions with enthusiasm and preparation. (6) In creating an atmosphere of excellence in research, engaging students at the beginning of their research career will help in creating tomorrow’s leaders in research and research ethics. The challenges of having students as REB members include the following: (1) Faculty members may be uneasy regarding the prospect of students reviewing protocols. (2) Faculty members may be concerned about confidentiality and respect with students reviewing faculty research protocols. (3) There may be an increased burden for students who serve as members on an REB. (4) There is concern that students will offer less continuous service to the REB. (5) There is a common misconception that students do not have the experience to carry out ethical reviews. While there are challenges from faculty members and others regarding having students as REB members, these challenges are often based on misconceptions about the nature of the REB work and the ethics review process in general. These challenges are also often based on the misconception of the ethics review process as one of peer review and evaluation, instead of a community-based and inclusive process. Having student members is a long-term strategy for both overcoming the misconceptions of the REB as a “necessary evil” and for fostering an awareness of the imperative for ethically sound research in the social sciences and humanities. (shrink)
A growing body of empirical literature challenges philosophers’ reliance on intuitions as evidence based on the fact that intuitions vary according to factors such as cultural and educational background, and socio-economic status. Our research extends this challenge, investigating Lehrer’s appeal to the Truetemp Case as evidence against reliabilism. We found that intuitions in response to this case vary according to whether, and which, other thought experiments are considered first. Our results show that compared to subjects who receive the Truetemp Case (...) first, subjects first presented with a clear case of knowledge are less willing to attribute knowledge in the Truetemp Case, and subjects first presented with a clear case of nonknowledge are more willing to attribute knowledge in the Truetemp Case. We contend that this instability undermines the supposed evidential status of these intuitions, such that philosophers who deal in intuitions can no longer rest comfortably in their armchairs. (shrink)
A growing body of empirical literature challenges philosophers’ reliance on intuitions as evidence based on the fact that intuitions vary according to factors such as cultural and educational background, and socio-economic status. Our research extends this challenge, investigating Lehrer's appeal to the Truetemp Case as evidence against reliabilism. We found that intuitions in response to this case varyaccording to whether, and which, other thought-experiments are considered first. Our results show that compared to subjects who receive the Truetemp Case first, subjects (...) first presented with a clear case of knowledge are less willing to attribute knowledge in the Truetemp Case, and subjects first presented with a clear case of non-knowledge are more willing to attribute knowledge in the Truetemp Case. Wecontend that this instability undermines the supposed evidential status of these intuitions, such that philosophers who deal in intuitions can no longer rest comfortably in their armchairs. (shrink)
It is certainly the case that morality governs the interactions that take place between individuals. But what if morality exists because of these interactions? This book argues for the claim that much of the behaviour we view as 'moral' exists because acting in that way benefits each of us to the greatest extent possible, given the socially structured nature of society. Drawing upon aspects of evolutionary game theory, the theory of bounded rationality, and computational models of social networks, it shows (...) both how moral behaviour can emerge in socially structured environments, and how it can persist even when it is not typically viewed as 'rational' from a traditional economic perspective. Since morality consists of much more than mere behaviour, this book also provides a theory of how moral principles and the moral sentiments play an indispensable role in effective choice, acting as 'fast and frugal heuristics' in social decision contexts. (shrink)
There is a systemic condition inherent in contemporary markets that compel managers not to pursue more morally preferable initiatives if those initiatives will require actions that conflict with profit maximization. Normative arguments for implementing morally preferable practices within the existing system fail because they are insufficient to counter-act the systemic conditions affecting decision-making that is focused on maximizing profit as the primary operational value. To overcome this constraint we must elevate a more normatively preferable value, ‚ideal environmental sustainability,’ to the (...) level of being the primary filtering value through which other competing values are evaluated, prioritized, and implemented. In order for this to occur in practice, a change must be made relative to the laws, rules, and regulations that define and guide the market. This can be done by suitably defining the epistemic constraint of impartiality utilizing Rawls’ notion of a ‚veil of ignorance’ as a heuristic device. (shrink)
It has been standard philosophical practice in analytic philosophy to employ intuitions generated in response to thought-experiments as evidence in the evaluation of philosophical claims. In part as a response to this practice, an exciting new movement—experimental philosophy—has recently emerged. This movement is unified behind both a common methodology and a common aim: the application of methods of experimental psychology to the study of the nature of intuitions. In this paper, we will introduce two different views concerning the relationship that (...) holds between experimental philosophy and the future of standard philosophical practice (what we call, the proper foundation view and the restrictionist view), discuss some of the more interesting and important results obtained by proponents of both views, and examine the pressure these results put on analytic philosophers to reform standard philosophical practice. We will also defend experimental philosophy from some recent objections, suggest future directions for work in experimental philosophy, and suggest what future lines of epistemological response might be available to those wishing to defend analytic epistemology from the challenges posed by experimental philosophy. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that Pascal understood God and Reason to be part of a continuum, comprehensible to the understanding, and not radically opposed to one another. The paper situates Pascal in the context of seventeenth-century intellectual history and examines the concept of Dieu Caché from the perspective of seventeenth-century linguistics.
The growth of managed care was accompanied by concern about the impact that changes in health care organization would have on the doctor-patient relationship (DPR). We now are in a "post-managed care era," where some of these changes in health care delivery have come to pass while others have not. A re-examination of the DPR in this setting suggests some surprising results. Rather than posing a new and unprecedented threat, managed care was simply the most recent of numerous strains on (...) the DPR that have occurred throughout the century. These strains are a constant, inevitable consequence of the varying needs and concerns of patient and physicians as they seek to balance their desires for a certain type of DPR with their simultaneous desire for other aspects of care such as lower costs, greater technological sophistication, and improved outcomes. (shrink)