This book contends that when late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century writers sought to explain the origins of emotions, they often discovered that their feelings may not really have been their own. It explores the paradoxes of representing feelings in philosophy, aesthetic theory, gender ideology, literature, and popular sentimentality, and it argues that this period's obsession with sentimental, wayward emotion was inseparable from the dilemmas resulting from attempts to locate the origins of feelings in experience. The book shows how these epistemological (...) dilemmas became gendered by studying a series of extravagantly affective scenes in works by Hume, Wordsworth, Charlotte Smith, and Jane Austen. Making its argument through a provocative conjunction of texts that range across genres and genders and across the divide between the eighteenth century and Romanticism, Strange Fits of Passion rediscovers the relationship of empiricism to the culture of sentimentality, and the significance of emotion to Romanticism. (shrink)
In this brief commentary, I suggest Selinger and Whyte are essentially correct in their criticism of the Nudge approach advocated by Thaler and Sunstein. I use some examples from road behavior and traffic planning to amplify the criticism that the simple behavioral economics approach fails to take account of the embedding of humans and technology in the wider social and cultural context.
A project featuring scholars in nursing ethics was planned in 2005. The goal was to document the contributions of some 24 selected American nurse ethicists to bioethics, and to discuss and explore the future trajectory of that work through a two-day working seminar. This article outlines the beginnings of bioethics in the USA and the specific contribution of nurse scholars to the debate, the preparation for the seminar, the results of the project, and the possible application of such a model (...) for teaching and archiving in the future. Documentation of the work carried out at the seminar resulted in the publication of a book. Short biographies of the participants at the seminar are included in Appendix 1. (shrink)
Knowledge about moral development and elderly persons is very limited. A hermeneutical interpretative study was conducted with healthy elderly persons (n = 20) in order to explore and describe their moral orientation based on the paradigms of justice (Kohlberg) and care (Gilligan). The types of moral reasoning, dominance, alignment and orientation were determined. All but one participant included both types of reasoning when discussing an ethical conflict. None of the men’s moral reasoning was dominated by caring, but justice dominated the (...) reasoning of four women. The implications for ethical decision-making and future research are discussed. (shrink)
This article addresses the relationship between technology and institutions and asks whether technology itself is an institution. The argument is that social theorists need to attend better to materiality: the world of things and objects of which technical things form an important class. It criticizes the new institutionalism in sociology for its failure to sufficiently open up the black box of technology. Recent work in science and technology studies (S&TS) and in particular the sociology of technology is reviewed as another (...) route into dealing with technology and materiality. The recent ideas in sociology of technology are exemplified with the author’s study of the development of the electronic music synthesizer. (shrink)
This article considers the political significance of game theoretical notions of cooperation by responding theologically to the writings of David Willetts, a minister in the UK government. The argument is that the forms of cooperative institutional life which societies require can be neither explained nor planned for solely by mathematical modelling of rational self-interest. What altruistic, civic cooperation depends upon is a complex web of affective trust, often theologically formed by open-handed faith rather than a self-protective pinch, so that (...) wise risks may be taken for the sake of future generations. (shrink)
Michael Dummett has argued that a formal semantics for our language is inadequate unless it can be shown to illuminate to our actual practice of speaking and understanding. This paper argues that Frege’s account of the semantics of predicate expressions according to which the reference of a predicate is a concept (a function from objects to truth values) has exactly the required characteristics. The first part of the paper develops a model for understanding the distinction between objects and concepts as (...) an ontological distinction. It argues that, ontologically, we can take a Fregean function to be generated by a property detection device that can register for any object the presence or absence of that property. This provides a direct connection between the semantics of sentences and the structure of perceptual judgment. The second part of the paper deals with arguments that have been mounted against the coherence of Frege’s semantics. It argues that some of these are question begging, while others are correct in so far as Frege’s claim is untenable if we assume that the syntactic categories singular term and predicate are primary, and the ontological categories are simply projections of these syntactic categories. However, the objections dissipate once we recognize that an independent ontological characterization of the distinction is available. (shrink)
While the question of whether selected-effects accounts of function or causal-role accounts of function provide the ‘true' functional analysis has given way to a general pluralistic consensus, Philip Kitcher has suggested that different functional accounts allow for unification. I argue that Kitcher's attempt to unify the two functional analyses fails because he adopts the environment-centered perspective on selection as a premise. The premise is undermined by the role niche construction is likely to play in the context of evolution. Moreover, I (...) raise the tentative suggestion that niche construction may threaten the applicability, or at least the relevance, of selected-effects ascriptions. *Received October 2009; revised May 2010. †To contact the author, please write to: Institut für Philosophie Fakultät für Philosophie und Bildungswissenschaft, Universität Wien, Universitätsstraße 7 1010 Wien, Austria; e-mail: Adela.Roszkowski@univie.ac.at. (shrink)
I argue that being wide awake is an epistemic virtue which enables me to recognize immediately that I'm wide awake. Also I argue that dreams are imaginings and that the wide awake mind can immediately discern the difference between imaginings and vivid sense experience. Descartes need only pinch himself.
I argue that, unlike your brain, you are not composed of other things: you are simple. My argument centers on what I take to be an uncontroversial datum: for any pair of conscious beings, it is impossible for the pair itself to be conscious. Consider, for instance, the pair comprising you and me. You might pinch your arm and feel a pain. I might simultaneously pinch my arm and feel a qualitatively identical pain. But the pair we form (...) would not feel a thing.1 Pairs of people themselves are incapable of experience. Call this The Datum. What explains The Datum? I think the following exhaust the reasonable options. (1) Pairs of people lack a sufficient number of immediate parts. (2) Pairs of people lack immediate parts capable of standing in the right sorts of relations to each other and their environment. (3) Pairs of people lack immediate parts of the right nature. (4) Pairs of people are not structures (they are unstructured collections of their two immediate parts). (5) Some combination of (1) – (4). Finally, (6) pairs of people are not simple. (shrink)
Spanish culture has recently shown interest about Neuroethics, a new line of research and reflection. It can be said that two general, and somewhat opposing, perspectives are currently being developed in Spain about neuroethics-related topics. One originates from the neuroscientific field and the other from the philosophical field. We will see, throughout this article, that the Spanish authors, who I am going to select here, deal with very diverse neuroethical topics and that they analyse them from different intellectual assumptions. However, (...) I consider that there is one constant concern, which emerges extensively or briefly in each one of the books that I am going to present. I am referring to the problem of freedom. Spanish neuroscientists, in general, stress and accept the new determinism that emanates from recent research about the brain, whilst those who engage in the study of philosophy usually point in their texts to the limitations of empirical research that purport to "demonstrate" the new neurological determinism. I will dedicate the last section, which is more extensive in length, to the work that I consider the most valuable, at least until the present day, and whose title is Neuroética y Neuropolítica (Tecnos, Madrid, 2011). Professor Adela Cortina (chair of Moral Philosophy at Valencia University and member of the Spanish Royal Academy of Moral and Political Science) is its author. But, firstly, I am going to refer to the works written by neuroscientists, and then to those written by philosophers. This will enable us to obtain a global view of the neuroethics models that are being constructed in Spain. (shrink)
Philosophers in general are uncomfortable, if not downright skeptical, about attributing semantic knowledge, particularly of a semantic theory, to ordinary speakers. 2 Those who do not feel the pinch often adopt a two-pronged defense: they rebut skeptics with an array of distinctions (and hedges), contending that the skeptics' confusions arise because they ignore such..
This paper aims to clarify the nature and contents of 'civil ethics' and the source of the binding force of its obligations. This ethics should provide the criteria for evaluating the moral validity of social, legal and morally valid law. The article starts with observing that in morally pluralist Western societies civil ethics already exists, and has gradually started to play the role of guiding the law. It is argued that civil ethics should not be conceived as 'civic morals' which (...) is in fact rather 'state ethics', nor as 'public ethics' which is said to reach its perfection when it becomes law, nor as ethics applicable primarily to the basic structure of a society (political liberalism), but instead as a citizens' ethics. Subsequently the paper attempts to show what the contents of this ethics are, and which ethical theory would be able to ground its obligations. (shrink)
This paper complicates, extends, and modifies Pinch and Bijker's original social construction of technology, specifically their concepts of relevant social groups, closure, and stabilization, in order to gain insight into long-term processes of how we use and understand technology. First, this paper identifies four broad categories of relevant social groups in the social construction of technology based on stake holdings and compares them according to their activities, resources, and directionality. Second, the paper discusses the distinctions between closure and stabilization (...) of technological artifacts, introducing temporary closure and structural flexibility as a means of understanding how different technologies can relate to each other. Third, using Rosch's cognitive approach to categorization, the paper suggests structural flexibility as a means of operationalizing stabilization. These reconceptualizations offer researchers a broader scale with which to understand the social construction of technology. (shrink)
Architecture, like ethics, concerns actual rather than ideal choices. William James's remarks on ethics, at a meeting of the Yale Philosophical Club in 1890, could apply equally well to the built environment:The actual possible in this world is vastly narrower than all that is demanded; and there is always a pinch between the ideal and the actual which can only be got through by leaving part of the ideal behind. There is hardly a good which we can imagine except (...) as competing for the possession of the same bit of space and time with some other imagined good.1Health care facilities are spaces in which certain imagined goods—the care of the sick, the treatment or prevention of disease—meet the actual possible of .. (shrink)
Experimental data are often acclaimed on the grounds that they can be consistently generated. They are, it is said, reproducible. In this paper I describe how this feature of experimental-data (their pragmatic reliability) leads to their epistemic worth (their epistemic reliability). An important part of my description is the supposition that experimental procedures are to certain extent fixed and stable. Various illustrations from the actual practice of science are introduced, the most important coming at the end of the paper with (...) a discussion of Ray Davis' 1967 solar-neutrino detection experiment (as it is portrayed in Pinch, 1980). (shrink)