These essays represent an important contribution to modern philosophical theology. They begin with an appreciation of Basil Mitchell's work and then discuss the role of reason in the justification of Christian theism, giving special attention to the nature of informal reasoning in religion and science. The latter essays examine particular arguments raised by specific religious concepts, covering such topics as the problem of evil, conspicuous sanctity, atonement, and the Eucharist. Drawn from a wide spectrum of philosophers and theologians, the (...) contributors include Maurice Wiles, Grace M. Jantzen, Gordon Kaufman, J.R. Lucas, Rom Harr'e, Richard Swinburne, and Michael Dummett. (shrink)
David Sepkoski and Michael Ruse’s edited collection The Peolobiological Revolution covers the changes in paleontological science in the last half-century. The collection should be of interest to philosophers of science (particularly those interested in non-reductive unity) as well as historians. I give an overview of the content and major themes of the volume and draw some lessons for the philosophy of science along the way. In particular, I argue that the history of paleontology demands a new approach to philosophical delineation (...) of sciences. (shrink)
Faith and Criticism addresses a central problem in the church today--the tension between traditionalists and progressives. Traditionalists want above all to hold fast to traditional foundations in belief and ensure that nothing of value is lost, even at the risk of a clash with "modern knowledge." Progressives are concerned above all to proclaim a faith that is credible today, even at the risk of sacrificing some elements of traditional doctrine. They are often locked in uncomprehending conflict. Basil Mitchell argues (...) that, not only in theology but in any other serious intellectual pursuit, faith and criticism are interdependent. A tradition which is not open to criticism will eventually ossify; and without faith in some established tradition criticism has nothing to fasten upon. This interdependence of faith and criticism has implications for society at large. Religious education can be Christian without ceasing to be critical, and a liberal society can espouse Christian values. (shrink)
This book analyzes the moral confusion of contemporary society, relating rival conceptions of morality with a wide variety of views about the nature and predicament of man. Mitchell argues that many secular thinkers possess a traditional "Christian" conscience which they find hard to defend in terms of an entirely secular world-view, but which is more in line with a Christian understanding of man.
What enables individually simple insects like ants to act with such precision and purpose as a group? How do trillions of individual neurons produce something as extraordinarily complex as consciousness? What is it that guides self-organizing structures like the immune system, the World Wide Web, the global economy, and the human genome? These are just a few of the fascinating and elusive questions that the science of complexity seeks to answer. In this remarkably accessible and companionable book, leading complex systems (...) scientist Melanie Mitchell provides an intimate, detailed tour of the sciences of complexity, a broad set of efforts that seek to explain how large-scale complex, organized, and adaptive behavior can emerge from simple interactions among myriad individuals. Comprehending such systems requires a wholly new approach, one that goes beyond traditional scientific reductionism and that re-maps long-standing disciplinary boundaries. Based on her work at the Santa Fe Institute and drawing on its interdisciplinary strategies, Mitchell brings clarity to the workings of complexity across a broad range of biological, technological, and social phenomena, seeking out the general principles or laws that apply to all of them. She explores as well the relationship between complexity and evolution, artificial intelligence, computation, genetics, information processing, and many other fields. Richly illustrated and vividly written, Complexity: A Guided Tour offers a comprehensive and eminently comprehensible overview of the ideas underlying complex systems science, the current research at the forefront of this field, and the prospects for the field's contribution to solving some of the most important scientific questions of our time. (shrink)
Guanxi (literally interpersonal connections) is in essence a network of resource coalition-based stakeholders sharing resources for survival, and it plays a key role in achieving business success in China. However, the salience of guanxi stakeholders varies: not all guanxi relationships are necessary, and among the necessary guanxi participants, not all are equally important. A hierarchical stakeholder model of guanxi is developed drawing upon Mitchell et al.’s (1997) stakeholder salience theory and Anderson’s (1982) constituency theory. As an application of instrumental (...) stakeholder theory, the model dimensionalizes the notion of stakeholder salience, and distinguishes between and among internal and external guanxi, core, major, and peripheral guanxi, and primary and secondary guanxi stakeholders. Guanxi management principles are developed based on a hierarchy of guanxi priorities and management specializations. The goal of this application of instrumental stakeholder theory is to construct, for Western business firms in China, a means to reliably identify guanxi partners by employing the principles of effective guanxi. These principles are described in the form of testable propositions that advance social scientific research in this area of international business ethics. (shrink)
In the 1970s, the concept of "difference" transformed our understanding of language and our reading of literary texts. Since then it has found application in almost every branch of literary and cultural studies. In this accessible, lively volume, Mark Currie traces the diverse meanings and changing fortunes of the term from a wide geography of sources in philosophy, linguistics, feminism, cultural geography and cultural theory. The author follows the concept from its most widely studied articulations in structuralism and poststructuralism (...) to broader critical issues such as individuality, diversity and universality. He offers particular discussion of: *Identity and difference *Difference and reference *Differance *Different histories *Difference and equivalence Displaying a remarkable range of discussion and unique insight into underlying philosophical and social debates, Difference is the best possible introduction to a term at the very heart of recent critical thought. (shrink)
A starting-point for the philosophical examination of theological belief, by A. Farrer.--The possibility of theological statements, by I. M. Crombie.--Revelation, by A. Farrer.--How theologians reason, by G. C. Stead.--The soul, by J. R. Lucas.--The grace of God, by B. Mitchell.--Religion and morals, by R. M. Hare.--"We" in modern philosophy, M. B. Foster.
Guilty , by Georges Bataille Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 162-163 Authors Andrew J. Mitchell, Emory University Journal Comparative and Continental Philosophy Online ISSN 1757-0646 Print ISSN 1757-0638 Journal Volume Volume 4 Journal Issue Volume 4, Number 1 / 2012.
How can audiences interact creatively, wisely and peaceably with the many different forms of violence found throughout today's media? Suicide attacks, graphic executions and the horrors of war appear in news reports, films, web-sites, and even on mobile phones. One approach towards media violence is to attempt to protect viewers; another is to criticize journalists, editors, film-makers and their stories. In this book Jolyon Mitchell highlights Christianity's ambiguous relationship with media violence. He goes beyond debates about the effects of (...) watching mediated violence to examine how audiences, producers and critics interact with news images, films, video-games and advertising. He argues that practices such as hospitality, friendship, witness and worship can provide the context where both spectacular and hidden violence can be remembered and reframed. This can help audiences to imagine how their own identities and communities can be based not upon violence, but upon a more lasting foundation of peace. (shrink)
Terrorism is a metaphysical problem that concerns the presence of beings today. Heidegger's own thinking of being makes possible a confrontation with terrorism on four fronts: 1) Heidegger's conception of war in the age of technological replacement goes beyond the Clausewitzian model of war and all its modernist-subjectivist presuppositions, 2) Heidegger thinks "terror" (Erschrecken) as the fundamental mood of our time, 3) Heideggerian thinking is attuned to the nature of the terrorist "threat" and the "danger" that we face today, 4) (...) Heidegger rethinks the notion of "security" in a manner that alerts us to the oxymoronic character of "homeland security." The epoch of terrorism is likewise the era of political transformation that Heidegger identifies with "Americanism." In this essay an effort is made to think terrorism qua metaphysical problem and to inquire into the perhaps privileged role of America for the thinking of terrorism today. (shrink)
This is a book about the nature of film: about the nature of moving images, about the viewer's relation to film, and about the kinds of narrative that film is capable of presenting. It represents a very decisive break with the semiotic and psychoanalytic theories of film which have dominated discussion over the last twenty years. The central thesis is that film is essentially a pictorial medium and that the movement of film images is real rather than illusory. A general (...) theory of pictorial representation is presented, which insists on the realism of pictures and the impossibility of assimilating them to language. It criticises attempts to explain the psychology of film viewing in terms of the viewer's imaginary occupation of a position within the world of film. On the contrary, film viewing is nearly always impersonal. (shrink)
Recreative Minds develops a philosophical theory of imagination that draws upon the latest work in psychology. This theory illuminates the use of imagination in coming to terms with art, its role in enabling us to live as social beings, and the psychological consequences of disordered imagination. The authors offer a lucid exploration of a fascinating subject.
Philosophical accounts of emergence have been explicated in terms of logical relationships between statements (derivation) or static properties (function and realization). Jaegwon Kim is a modern proponent. A property is emergent if it is not explainable by (or reducible to) the properties of lower level components. This approach, I will argue, is unable to make sense of the kinds of emergence that are widespread in scientific explanations of complex systems. The standard philosophical notion of emergence posits the wrong dichotomies, confuses (...) compositional physicalism with explanatory physicalism, and is unable to represent the type of dynamic processes (self-organizing feedback) that both generate emergent properties and express downward causation. (shrink)
Managers often encounter situations that require them to make decisions with ethical implications that affect the organization as well as the managers themselves. The issue we address in this study concerns whether the ethical consistency of managerial decisions is situation dependent. That is, are the decisions managers make ethically consistent when they are faced with different ethical situations? We hypothesize that managerial decisions will vary depending on the type of ethical situation they encounter. We also hypothesize that gender plays a (...) role in determining the ethical consistency of managerial decisions. Results of statistical analyses support our hypotheses. (shrink)
What kinds of psychological states motivate us? Beliefs and desires are the obvious candidates. But some aspects of our behaviour suggest another idea. I have in mind the view that imagination can sometimes constitute motivation.
In this article I consider the challenges for exporting causal knowledge raised by complex biological systems. In particular, James Woodward’s interventionist approach to causality identified three types of stability in causal explanation: invariance, modularity, and insensitivity. I consider an example of robust degeneracy in genetic regulatory networks and knockout experimental practice to pose methodological and conceptual questions for our understanding of causal explanation in biology. †To contact the author, please write to: Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of (...) Pittsburgh, 1017 Cathedral of Learning, Pittsburgh, PA 15260; e‐mail: email@example.com. (shrink)
What do pictures and mental images have in common? The contemporary tendency to reject mental picture theories of imagery suggests that the answer is: not much. We show that pictures and visual imagery have something important in common. They both contribute to mental simulations: pictures as inputs and mental images as outputs. But we reject the idea that mental images involve mental pictures, and we use simulation theory to strengthen the anti-pictorialist's case. Along the way we try to account for (...) caricature and for some basic features of pictorial representations. (shrink)
We formulate a new modal ontological argument; specifically, we show that there is a possible world in which an entity that has at least the property of omnipotence exists. Then we argue that if such an entity is possible, it is necessary as well.
Aims to improve an understanding of the theoretical issues in response to the influence of fiction. Four things in narrative unreliability; Relation between narration in literary fictions and film; Comprehension of narrative essentially a matter of intentional inference; Fictions misdescribed; Asymmetry between literature and film; Ambiguity and unreliability; Implied author and narrator.
Beatty, Brandon, and Sober agree that biological generalizations, when contingent, do not qualify as laws. Their conclusion follows from a normative definition of law inherited from the Logical Empiricists. I suggest two additional approaches: paradigmatic and pragmatic. Only the pragmatic represents varying kinds and degrees of contingency and exposes the multiple relationships found among scientific generalizations. It emphasizes the function of laws in grounding expectation and promotes the evaluation of generalizations along continua of ontological and representational parameters. Stability of conditions (...) and strength of determination in nature govern projectibility. Accuracy, ontological level, simplicity, and manageability provide additional measures of usefulness. (shrink)
For more than 10 years, Ulrich Beck has dominated discussion of risk issues in the social sciences. We argue that Beck's criticisms of the theory and practise of risk analysis are groundless. His understanding of what risk is is badly flawed. His attempt to identify risk and risk perception fails. He misunderstands and distorts the use of probability in risk analysis. His comments about the insurance industry show that he does not understand some of the basics of that industry. And (...) his assertions about the wrongness of allowing acceptable levels of exposure to toxic chemicals do not stand up to scrutiny. Key Words: Beck risk analysis risk perception probability insurance. (shrink)
Biological knowledge does not fit the image of science that philosophers have developed. Many argue that biology has no laws. Here I criticize standard normative accounts of law and defend an alternative, pragmatic approach. I argue that a multidimensional conceptual framework should replace the standard dichotomous law/accident distinction in order to display important differences in the kinds of causal structure found in nature and the corresponding scientific representations of those structures. To this end I explore the dimensions of stability, strength, (...) and degree of abstraction that characterize the variety of scientific knowledge claims found in biology and other sciences. (shrink)
Our experience of narrative has an internal and an external aspect--the content of the narrative’s representations, and its intentional, communicative aetiology. The interaction of these two things is crucial to understanding how narrative works. I begin by laying out what I think we can reasonably expect from a narrative by way of causal information, and how causality interacts with other attributes we think of as central to narrative. At a certain point this discussion will strike a problem: our judgements about (...) what is a relevant possibility within the narrative’s story depend on our judgements of probability; but these latter judgements depend, in turn, on factors external to the world of the story, and cannot be explained in terms of causal relations available within the story. We need the external, author-centred perspective at this point. These different perspectives, the internal and the external, correspond to different types of explanations we may give of events in a story; I call these internal and external explanations. I show how these different explanations are made use of in two contrasting arthistorical projects. I use these examples as the basis for a generalisation about the structure of the two explanatory forms. Finally, I suggest some ways in which explanations of these two kinds relate to one another, and to our thinking when we are engaged by a narrative. (shrink)
The `fact' of pluralism in science is nosurprise. Yet, if science is representing andexplaining the structure of the oneworld, why is there such a diversity ofrepresentations and explanations in somedomains? In this paper I consider severalphilosophical accounts of scientific pluralismthat explain the persistence of bothcompetitive and compatible alternatives. PaulSherman's `Levels of Analysis' account suggeststhat in biology competition betweenexplanations can be partitioned by the type ofquestion being investigated. I argue that thisaccount does not locate competition andcompatibility correctly. I then defend anintegrative (...) model for understanding pluralism. This view is based on taking seriously both thecomplexity and contingency of biologicalorganization and the idealized character ofbiological models. On this view, explanationbecomes, among other things, the location forthe integration of diverse models. I explicatemy argument by an analysis of explanations ofdivision of labor in social insects. (shrink)
The purpose of this study was to identify general characteristics attributed to ethical business cultures by executives from a variety of industries. Our research identified five clusters of characteristics: Mission- and Values-Driven, Stakeholder Balance, Leadership Effectiveness, Process Integrity, and Long-term Perspective. We propose that these characteristics be used as a foundation of a comprehensive model that can be engaged to influence operational practices in creating and sustaining an ethical business culture.
Aberrant consumer behaviour costs firms millions of pounds a year, and the Internet has provided young techno-literate consumers with a new medium to exploit businesses. This paper addresses Internet related ethics and describes the ways in which young consumers misdemean on the Internet and their attitudes towards these. Using a sample of 219 generation Y consumers, the study identified 24 aberrant behaviours which grouped into five factors; illegal, questionable activities, hacking related, human Internet trade and downloading. Those perceived as least (...) wrong were; "Downloading movie and music files from the Internet for free". The consequences of these behaviours have implications for educators, consumer policy and marketers. (shrink)
Motor imagery typically involves an experience as of moving a body part. Recent studies reveal close parallels between the constraints on motor imagery and those on actual motor performance. How are these parallels to be explained? We advance a simulative theory of motor imagery, modeled on the idea that we predict and explain the decisions of others by simulating their decision-making processes. By proposing that motor imagery is essentially off-line motor action, we explain the tendency of motor imagery to mimic (...) motor performance. We close by arguing that a simulative theory of motor imagery gives (modest) support to and illumination of the simulative theory of decision-prediction. (shrink)
Shaun Gallagher and Dan Hutto claim that those once bitter rivals, simulation theory and theory-theory, are now to be treated as partners in crime. It's true that the debate has become more nuanced, with detailed suggestions abroad as to how these two approaches might peaceably divide the field. And there is common ground between them, at least to the extent that they agree on what needs to be explained. But I see no fatal flaw in what they share. In particular, (...) I reject the idea that most interpersonal understanding can be accounted for without the postulation of mechanisms for inferring beliefs and desires. I also query the claim that simulation mechanisms have a very limited explanatory scope, and argue for the existence of such mechanisms at sub-personal levels. I suggest that Gallagher and Hutto's strictures against false belief tests are unwarranted, and their conclusions about the role of narrative in interpersonal understanding are unfounded. (shrink)
Vector-based models of word meaning have become increasingly popular in cognitive science. The appeal of these models lies in their ability to represent meaning simply by using distributional information under the assumption that words occurring within similar contexts are semantically similar. Despite their widespread use, vector-based models are typically directed at representing words in isolation, and methods for constructing representations for phrases or sentences have received little attention in the literature. This is in marked contrast to experimental evidence (e.g., in (...) sentential priming) suggesting that semantic similarity is more complex than simply a relation between isolated words. This article proposes a framework for representing the meaning of word combinations in vector space. Central to our approach is vector composition, which we operationalize in terms of additive and multiplicative functions. Under this framework, we introduce a wide range of composition models that we evaluate empirically on a phrase similarity task. (shrink)
Philosophical questions about the arts go naturally with other kinds of questions about them. Art is sometimes said to be an historical concept. But where in our cultural and biological history did art begin? If art is related to play and imagination, do we find any signs of these things in our nonhuman relatives? Sometimes the other questions look like ones the philosopher of art has to answer. Anyone who thinks that interpretation in the arts is an activity that leaves (...) the intentions of the author behind needs to explain how and why this differs so fundamentally from ordinary conversational interpretation, where the only decent models we have are ones that depend crucially on the recovery of intention. Anyone who thinks that imaginative literature has anything to tell us about time had better have a position on how earlier and later relate to past and future. Anyone who thinks that empathy plays a role in literary engagement had better have a psychologically plausible account of what empathy is. Philosophical questions about the arts also go naturally with other kinds of philosophical questions: we can't think constructively about representation in art without thinking about representation; text, meaning, reference and existence get similarly drawn into the conversation. Some ideas that philosophers of art deal with emerge from other disciplines. In literary theory an enormous amount of attention has been lavished on tracing the sources of unreliability in narrative. Is the result adequate to the details of the particular works we call unreliable? Contemporary film theory is generally hostile to the fiction/documentary distinction. Are there in fact any grounds for this? This book of thirteen connected essays examines questions of all these kinds. It ranges from the semantics of proper names, through the pragmatics of literary and filmic interpretation, to the aesthetic function of stone age implements. Some of the essays have not been published before; some that have are here substantially revised. (shrink)
It has been claimed that ceteris paribus laws, rather than strict laws are the proper aim of the special sciences. This is so because the causal regularities found in these domains are exception-ridden, being contingent on the presence of the appropriate conditions and the absence of interfering factors. I argue that the ceteris paribus strategy obscures rather than illuminates the important similarities and differences between representations of causal regularities in the exact and inexact sciences. In particular, a detailed account of (...) the types and degrees of contingency found in the domain of biology permits a more adequate understanding of the relations among the sciences. (shrink)
Introductions should introduce, but sometimes lead to engagements. That is our aim. We want to make Plato’s Republic more easily read by modern readers, but do not want to do only that. For philosophy is like poetry, and cannot be learned second-hand. I can learn all sorts of facts about a poem, but unless I have entered into the poet’s experience, if only in my imagination, it remains dead. Similarly, I shall not see the point of text-book analyses of philosophical (...) doctrines unless I have felt the force of the arguments that led the philosopher to propose them, and have some sense of the objections he encountered and the way he sought to surmount them. That is why we still need to read Plato and Aristotle, as we do Homer and Sophocles, in a way that we do not, save as a historical exercise, read ancient textbooks of medicine or mechanical construction. (shrink)
Over the last several years, as cesarean deliveries have grown increasingly common, there has been a great deal of public and professional interest in the phenomenon of women 'choosing' to deliver by cesarean section in the absence of any specific medical indication. The issue has sparked intense conversation, as it raises questions about the nature of autonomy in birth. Whereas mainstream bioethical discourse is used to associating autonomy with having a large array of choices, this conception of autonomy does not (...) seem adequate to capture concerns and intuitions that have a strong grip outside this discourse. An empirical and conceptual exploration of how delivery decisions ought to be negotiated must be guided by a rich understanding of women's agency and its placement within a complicated set of cultural meanings and pressures surrounding birth. It is too early to be 'for' or 'against' women's access to cesarean delivery in the absence of traditional medical indications – and indeed, a simple pro- or con- position is never going to do justice to the subtlety of the issue. The right question is not whether women ought to be allowed to choose their delivery approach but, rather, taking the value of women's autonomy in decision-making around birth as a given, what sorts of guidelines, practices, and social conditions will best promote and protect women's full inclusion in a safe and positive birth process. (shrink)
Various researchers have suggested that below 7 years of age children do not recognize that they are the authority on knowledge about themselves, a suggestion that seems counter-intuitive because it raises the possibility that children do not appreciate their privileged first-person access to their own minds. Unlike previous research, children in the current investigation quantified knowledge and even 5-year-olds tended to assign relatively more to themselves than to an adult (Studies 1 and 2). Indeed, children's estimations were different from ratings (...) made by their mothers: Their mothers sometimes rated themselves as knowing more about their child than they rated their child as knowing (Study 2). While previous research seemed to suggest that children shift from viewing their mother to viewing themselves as the authority on knowledge about them (the children), these new findings surprisingly suggest the opposite. (shrink)
In this paper I discuss recent debates concerning etiological theories of functions. I defend an etiological theory against two criticisms, namely the ability to account for malfunction, and the problem of structural doubles. I then consider the arguments provided by Bigelow and Pargetter (1987) for a more forward looking account of functions as propensities or dispositions. I argue that their approach fails to address the explanatory problematic for which etiological theories were developed.
An amended bootstrapping can avoid Christensen's counterexamples. Earman and Edidin argue that Christensen's examples to bootstrapping rely on his failure to analyze background knowledge. I add an additional condition to bootstrapping that is motivated by Glymour's remarks on variety of evidence. I argue that it avoids the problems that the examples raise. I defend the modification against the charge that it is holistic, and that it collapses into Bayesianism.
The resurgence of religion around the globe poses a challenge for both empirical and normative social scientists. For the former, the question is whether the terms at their disposal are adequate to comprehend religious self-understanding and, therefore, human motivation and conduct. For the latter, the question is whether those terms confuse or clarify the way in which religion may be brought into public dialog without violating the tenets of pluralism or toleration. How, then, do social scientists of both persuasions currently (...) understand religion? I begin by distinguishing religious experience from other sorts of experience, with a view to demonstrating, first, that the two preeminent terms adopted by social scientists today preference and choice cannot comprehend religious experience. To do this, I provide a brief exposition of what I call the fable of liberalism, in order to explain why the terms preference and choice have achieved the currency that they have and what problems their invocation was intended to address. Second, I consider two other terms social scientists often invoke value and identity and suggest that these terms also are inadequate for understanding religious experience. The first set of terms arises in the eighteenth century, out of the Anglo-American tradition; the second set of terms arises in the nineteenth century, out of the German tradition. None of these terms are able to comprehend religious experience, which antedates these sets of terms by centuries. I end by suggesting, first, that empirical social scientists would do well to reconsider whether terms that arose during specific historical moments in order to circumvent or to supersede religious experience can help them understand human motivation, let alone predict human conduct, whenever or wherever religion is involved; and, second, that the attempt by well-meaning normative social scientists to bring religion into the public sphere by treating it in terms of preference, choice, value, or identity distorts religious experience, and cannot succeed as a strategy for reintroducing religion into public dialog, since religion is not what they wish to render it in terms of. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that two domains of uncertainty should inform our strategies for making social policy on new genetic technologies. The first is biological complexity, which includes both unknown consequences on known variables and unknown unknowns. The second is value pluralism, which includes both moral conflict and moral pluralism. This framework is used to investigate policy on genetically modified food and suggests that adaptive management is required to track changes in biological knowledge of these interventions and that less (...) simplistic, polemic representations of scientific knowledge are required to permit democratic decision making. (shrink)
An explanation of Frege's change from objective idealism to platonism is offered. Frege had originally thought that numbers are transparent to reason, but the character of his Axiom of Courses of Values undermined this view, and led him to think that numbers exist independently of reason. I then use these results to suggest a view of Frege's mathematical epistemology.
The controversy regarding the unit of selection is fundamentally a dispute about what is the correct causal structure of the process of evolution by natural selection and its ontological commitments. By characterizing the process as consisting of two essential steps--interaction and transmission--a singular answer to the unit question becomes ambiguous. With such an account on hand, two recent defenses of competing units of selection are considered. Richard Dawkins maintains that the gene is the appropriate unit of selection and Robert Brandon, (...) in response, argues that the individual organism is better suited to the role. This paper argues that by making explicit the underlying questions that each of these views addresses, the apparent conflict can be resolved. Furthermore, such a resolution allows for a more complete and realistic understanding of the process of evolution by natural selection. (shrink)
There has been a recent resurgence of interest in anthropomorphism, attributable to both the rise of cognitive ethology and the requirements of various forms of expanded, environmental ethics. The manner and degree to which non-human animals are similar to human beings has thus become a focus of scientific research and a necessary component to our decisions to act morally. At its basis, anthropomorphism involves claims about the similarity of non-human objects or beings to humans. Critics of anthropomorphism often attack the (...) presumptive character of such claims. In this paper I consider a range of stances toward anthropomorphism from global rejections to specific models. The bumper sticker version of this talk could be: science made too easy is bound to be wrong. In the end I will argue that specific anthropomorphic theses are supported or not supported by the same rigorous experimental and logical reasoning as any other scientific model. (shrink)
Heyes's literature review of deception, imitation, and self-recognition is inadequate, misleading, and erroneous. The anaesthetic artifact hypothesis of self-recognition is unsupported by the data she herself examines. Her proposed experiment is tantalizing, indicating that theory of mind is simply a Turing test.
In this paper I give an account of self-deception by situating it within the theory of human conduct advanced by American pragmatists John Dewey and George Herbert Mead. After examining and rejecting the two most prevalent explanations of self-deception - namely, Sigmund Freud's psychoanalytic interpretation and Jean-Paul Sartre's phenomenological one - I provide a brief sketch of some of Dewey's and Mead's fundamental insights into the inherently social nature of mind.I argue that one of the main forms of self-deception involves (...) unreflective acceptance of a belief that impartial inspection would readily expose as spurious. In this instance lying to oneself arises from the failure to analyze an appealing idea from the perspective of the generalized other which we acquire through participation in the universe of rational discourse. I conclude by pointing to certain features of contemporary social life that may indirectly promote such self-dissimulation. (shrink)