The National Science Foundation's (NSF) Second Merit Criterion, or Broader Impacts Criterion (BIC), was introduced in 1997 as the result of an earlier Congressional movement to enhance the accountability and responsibility as well as the effectiveness of federally funded projects. We demonstrate that a robust understanding and appreciation of NSF BIC argues for a broader conception of research ethics in the sciences than is currently offered in Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) training. This essay advocates augmenting RCR education with training (...) regarding broader impacts. We demonstrate that enhancing research ethics training in this way provides a more comprehensive understanding of the ethics relevant to scientific research and prepares scientists to think not only in terms of responsibly conducted science, but also of the role of science in responding to identified social needs and in adhering to principles of social justice. As universities respond to the mandate from America COMPETES to “provide training and oversight in the responsible and ethical conduct of research”, we urge institutions to embrace a more adequate conception of research ethics, what we call the Ethical Dimensions of Scientific Research, that addresses the full range of ethical issues relevant to scientific inquiry, including ethical issues related to the broader impacts of scientific research and practice. (shrink)
Abstract This paper compares Heidegger's conception of time with more prevalent physical and broadly psychological analyses of time. The ?vulgar? notion of time, as Heidegger understands it, is based on the assumption that time, regardless of whether it is identified with tense or not, is something that is essentially measurable by clocks. Heidegger maintains that the vulgar notion of time is a distortion of his own preferred conception of temporality. I show how temporality may be understood as the non?sequential tensed (...) structure underlying tensed discourse. I argue against any straightforward reduction of this tensed structure and the direction of time to physical occurrences. Nevertheless I argue that temporality can be distinguished from purely psychological analyses of temporal experience and from traditional conceptions of time as tensed experience. The selectiveness of demonstrative discourse provides the basis for Heidegger's critique and reconstruction of time understood as tensed discourse about things. Heidegger's scepticism about the interpretation of time as a sequence of nows that underlies the dominant interpretation of tense is due to his appropriation of the relativity of simultaneity from special relativity. But his interpretation of physical theory leads him to the thesis that time is pre?supposed but not completely analysed in physical theory. The meta?language of physical theory makes covert use of temporal notions, for entities can themselves only be understood in covertly temporal ways. I show how this claim may be understood and defended in the light of current physical theory. Heidegger's analysis gives us some basis for thinking that his own notion of temporality is built into an understanding of temporal experience. But I argue that Heidegger fails to make the case that physical time is ontologically dependent on human existence. (shrink)
Wittgensteinian readings of Being and Time, and of the source of the intelligibility of Dasein''s world, in terms of language and the average everyday public practices of das Man are partly right and partly wrong. They are right in correcting overly individualist and existentialist readings of Heidegger. But they are wrong in making Heidegger into a proponent of language or everydayness as the final word on intelligibility and the way the world is disclosed to us. The everydayness of das Man (...) and language are partial sources of intelligibility but only insofar as they are comprehended within the greater unitary structure of care and temporality. Care and temporality constitute the foundational underpinnings for disclosure and the intelligibility ofthat wherein Dasein dwells. (shrink)
In this book Pierre <span class='Hi'>Keller</span> examines the distinctive contributions, and the respective limitations, of Husserl's and Heidegger's approach to fundamental elements of human experience. He shows how their accounts of time, meaning, and personal identity are embedded in important alternative conceptions of how experience may be significant for us, and discusses both how these conceptions are related to each other and how they fit into a wider philosophical context. His sophisticated and accessible account of the phenomenological philosophy of (...) Husserl and the existential phenomenology of Heidegger will be of wide interest to students and specialists in these areas, while analytic philosophers of mind will be interested by the detailed parallels which he draws with a number of concerns of the analytic philosophical tradition. (shrink)
Despite clear parallels between Jürgen Habermas’s discourse ethics and recent scholarship in feminist ethics, feminists are often suspicious of discourse ethics and have kept themselves mostly separate from the field. By developing a sustained application of Habermas’s discourse ethics to friendship, Keller demonstrates that feminist misgivings of discourse ethics are largely misplaced and that Habermas’s theory can be used to develop a compelling moral phenomenology of interpersonal relations.
Plato's main concern in the "Cratylus," I claim, is to argue against the idea that we can learn about things by examining their names, and in favour of the claim that philosophers should, so far as possible, look to the things themselves. Other philosophical questions, such as that of whether we should accept a naturalist or a conventionalist theory of namng, arise in the dialogue, but are subordinate. This reading of the "Cratylus," I say, explains certain puzzling facts about the (...) dialogue's structure and dramatic emphasis, as well as making the dialogue look better on philosophical grounds. In support of my claim, I argue that Hermogenes' conventionalist theory of naming is quite sensible, and is not refuted by Socrates; that the main purpose of the etymological section is to undermine our confidence in etymology as a form of philosophical enquiry; and that the apparently tangential and inconclusive discussions in the final section of the dialogue are best understood as illustrations of Plato's thesis about philosophical methodology. (shrink)
"-Barbara Ehrenreich, Mother Jones "This book represents the expression of a particular feminist perspective made all the more compelling by Keller's evident commitment to and understanding of science.
In Kant and the Demands of Self-Consciousness, Pierre Keller examines Kant's theory of self-consciousness and argues that it succeeds in explaining how both subjective and objective experience are possible. Previous interpretations of Kant's theory have held that he treats all self-consciousness as knowledge of objective states of affairs, and also that self-consciousness can be interpreted as knowledge of personal identity. By developing this striking new interpretation Keller is able to argue that transcendental self-consciousness underwrites a general theory of (...) objectivity and subjectivity at the same time. (shrink)
An ethical theory is self-effacing if it tells us that sometimes, we should not be motivated by the considerations that justify our acts. In his influential paper 'The Schizophrenia of Modern Ethical Theories' , Michael Stocker argues that consequentialist and deontological ethical theories must be self-effacing, if they are to be at all plausible. Stocker's argument is often taken to provide a reason to give up consequentialism and deontology in favour of virtue ethics. I argue that this assessment is a (...) mistake. Virtue ethics is self-effacing in just the same way as are the theories that Stocker attacks. Or, at the very least: if there is a way for virtue ethics to avoid self-effacement then there are ways for its rivals to avoid self-effacement too. Therefore, considerations of self-effacement provide no reason to prefer virtue ethics to its major rivals. (shrink)
I will present and criticise the two theories of truthmaking David Armstrong offers us in Truth and Truthmakers (Armstrong 2004), show to what extent they are incompatible and identify troublemakers for both of them, a notorious – Factualism, the view that the world is a world of states of affairs – and a more recent one – the view that every predication is necessary. Factualism, combined with truthmaker necessitarianism – ‘truthmaking is necessitation’ – leads Armstrong to an all-embracing totality state (...) of affairs that necessitates not only everything that is the case but also everything else – that which is not the case, that which is merely possible or even impossible. All the things so dear to realists – rocks, natural properties, real persons – become mere abstractions from this ontological monster. The view that every predication is necessary does in some sense the opposite: it does away with totality states of affairs and, arguably, also with states of affairs. We have particulars and universals, partially identical and necessarily connected to everything else. Just by the existence of anything, everything is necessitated – the whole world mirrored in every monad. Faced with the choice between these two equally unappealing alternatives, I suggest returning to Armstrong’s more empiricist past: the world is not an all-inclusive One, nor necessitated by every single particular and every single universal, but a plurality of particulars and universals, interconnected by a contingent and internal relation of exemplification. While a close variant, truthmaker essentialism, can perhaps be saved, this means giving up on truthmaker necessitarianism. This, I think, what it takes to steer a clear empiricist course between the Scylla of Spinozist general factness and the Charybdis of a Leibnizian overdose of brute necessities. (shrink)
Welfarism is the view that morality is centrally concerned with the welfare or well-being of individuals. The division between welfarist and non-welfarist approaches underlies many important disagreements in ethics, but welfarism is neither consistently defined nor well understood. I survey the philosophical work on welfarism, and I offer a suggestion about how the view can be characterized and how it can be embedded in various kinds of moral theory. I also identify welfarism's major rivals, and its major attractions and weaknesses.
I will argue that qua objects exist, or, at least, that qua objects, if they existed, would solve a broad range of problems. Though they date at least as far back as to Aristotle, I will discuss their credentials under the form they got in Kit Fine’s 1982 note “Acts, Events and Things“. I will show how they naturally arise in natural deduction, and how powerful a tool they are to explain all kinds of substitutivity failures and associated puzzles in (...) the debates on material constitution, modes of presentation and belief ascription. I will show how they could be used to streamline ontology, while at the same time providing truthmakers galore and explaining, e.g., what essences are. I will criticize the only Ersatzist construal I know of and then ﬁnally try to sketch some ways in which qua objects might be given a place within one’s favourite ontological picture, not oﬀending our taste for desert landscapes. (shrink)
I defend the view that an individual''s welfareis in one respect enhanced by the achievementof her goals, even when her goals are crazy,self-destructive, irrational or immoral. This``Unrestricted View'''' departs from familiartheories which take welfare to involve only theachievement of rational aims, or of goals whoseobjects are genuinely valuable, or of goalsthat are not grounded in bad reasons. I beginwith a series of examples, intended to showthat some of our intuitive judgments aboutwelfare incorporate distinctions that only theUnrestricted View can support. Then, (...) I show howthe view can be incorporated into a broadertheory of welfare in ways that do not produceimplausible consequences. This in hand, Ifinish by providing a more philosophicalstatement of the Unrestricted View and the casein its favor, and respond to some objections. (shrink)
The Internet appears to offer psychologists doing research unrestricted access to infinite amounts and types of data. However, the ethical issues surrounding the use of data and data collection methods are challenging research review boards at many institutions. This article illuminates some of the obstacles facing researchers who wish to take advantage of the Internet's flexibility. The applications of the APA ethical codes for conducting research on human participants on the Internet are reviewed. The principle of beneficence, as well as (...) privacy and confidentiality, informed consent, deception, and avoiding harm are all illustrated through the use of a hypothetical online study. (shrink)
The article presents the sociology of knowledge approach to discourse (SKAD). SKAD, which has been in the process of development since the middle of the 1990s, is now a widely used framework among social scientists in discourse research in the German-speaking area. It links arguments from the social constructionist tradition, following Berger and Luckmann, with assumptions based in symbolic interactionism, hermeneutic sociology of knowledge, and the concepts of Michel Foucault. It argues thereby for a consistent theoretical and methodological grounding of (...) a genuine social sciences perspective on discourse interested in the social production, circulation and transformation of knowledge, that is in social relations and politics of knowledge in the so-called ‘knowledge societies’. Distancing itself from Critical Discourse Analysis, Linguistics, Ethnomethodology inspired discourse analysis and the Analysis of Hegemonies, following Laclau and Mouffe, SKAD’s framework has been built up around research questions and concerns located in the social sciences, referring to public discourse and arenas as well as to more specific fields of (scientific, religious, etc.) discursive struggles and controversies around problematizations (Foucault). (shrink)
In Foundationalism, Coherentism, and the Levels Gambit, David Shatz argued that foundationalists must countenance a circular mediate justification of perceptual beliefs which the foundationalist holds are already immediately justified. Because the circularity of coherentist accounts of the justification of beliefs is a major basis of foundationalist criticism of coherentism, Shatz's claim is a serious challenge to foundationalism. In this paper, using a moderate foundationalism with a reliabilist conception of justification, I give an account of immediately and mediately justified beliefs which (...) shows that such a foundationalism need not accept such a circular justification (and in crucial cases cannot do so) and that Shatz's claim is therefore incorrect. (shrink)
I reassess the famous arguments of Frank Plumpton Ramsey (1925) against the tenability of the distinction between particulars and universals and discuss their recent elaboration by Fraser MacBride. I argue that Ramsey’s argument is ambiguous between kinds and properties and that his sceptical worries can be resolved once this distinction is taken into account. A crucial role in this dissolution is a notion of what is essential to a property. I close by some epistemological considerations.
While care ethics has frequently been criticized for lacking an account of autonomy, this paper argues that care ethics' relational model of moral agency provides the basis for criticizing the philosophical tradition's model of autonomy and for rethinking autonomy in relational terms. Using Diana Meyers's account of autonomy competency as a basis, a dialogical model of autonomy is developed that can respond to internal and external critiques of care ethics.
Since the 1970s, climate change has dominated the international scientific and political agenda. In particular, the foundation of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change at the end of the 1980s played a major role for the further enhancement of efforts in the field of climate change sciences. However, to understand the interaction of the worldwide coordination of climate change sciences as well as the role of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and its consequences, it is worthwhile to take a (...) look at the self-conception of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s tasks and work. This paper gives an idea of the history of international climate change science, its representation in public discourse and the role of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change by comprehensively illustrating its tasks, organization and self-image. Furthermore, the article tries to argue that the hitherto accepted concept of science followed within this body fails to integrate the idea of scientific ethics. It can be concluded that the conception of science represented by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has heavily influenced worldwide attention to climate change, its becoming part of the political agenda as well as the ethical consequences. (shrink)
God is typically conceived as perfectly good and necessarily so, in two senses: in terms of always performing the best possible act and in terms of having maximal moral worth. Yet any being that freely performs the best act she can must be accorded greater moral worth for any such action than a being that does so necessarily. I conclude that any being that performs the best possible act of necessity cannot also have maximal moral worth, making the concept of (...) God’s perfect goodness incoherent. (shrink)
It is true of many truths that I do not believe them. It is equally true, however, that I cannot rationally assert of any such truth both that it is true and that I do not believe it. To explain why this is so, I will distinguish absence of belief from disbelief and argue that an assertion of “p, but I do not believe that p” is paradoxical because it is indefensible, i.e. for reasons internal to it unable to convince. (...) A closer examination of the irrationality involved will show that such is the skeptic’s predicament, trying to convince us to bracket knowledge claims we have good grounds to take ourselves to be entitled to. Even if the sceptic cannot be proven wrong, his challenge still demands an answer, if not a treatment. In this paper, I argue that the cure lies in epidemiology rather than epistemology: instead of attacking the sceptic head-long, I commend guerilla tactics, vaccinating our fellow non-sceptics against the sceptical virus. I will not argue that the sceptic is wrong, necessarily wrong or that he cannot be believed, but that he cannot convince. Scepticism requires a leap of faith: something we may justiﬁably refrain from even on the sceptic’s own standards. (shrink)
In a recent paper, Gilbert Meilaender argues that Christian ethics must not be consequentialist. Though Meilaender does indicate some problems which may exist with certain consequentialist theories, those problems do not exclude all types of consequentialist theories from consideration as Christian ethical theories. A consequentialism like R. M. Hare’s offers virtually all the advantages Meilaender claims for his Christian deontological view. Moreover. Meilaender has overlooked certain advantages of consequentialism and certain disadvantages of the sort of deontological theory he espouses.
We hope—even as we doubt—that the environmental crisis can be controlled. Public awareness of our species’ self-destructiveness as material beings in a material world is growing—but so is the destructiveness. The practical interventions needed for saving and restoring the earth will require a collective shift of such magnitude as to take on a spiritual and religious intensity.This transformation has in part already begun. Traditions of ecological theology and ecologically aware religious practice have been preparing the way for decades. Yet these (...) traditions still remain marginal to society, academy, and church. With a fresh, transdisciplinary approach, Ecospirit probes the possibility of a green shift radical enough to permeate the ancient roots of our sensibility and the social sources of our practice. From new language for imagining the earth as a living ground to current constructions of nature in theology, science, and philosophy; from environmentalism’s questioning of postmodern thought to a garden of green doctrines, rituals, and liturgies for contemporary religion, these original essays explore and expand our sense of how to proceed in the face of an ecological crisis that demands new thinking and acting. In the midst of planetary crisis, they activateimagination, humor, ritual, and hope. (shrink)
In the early 1990s, Sara Ruddick's Maternal Thinking was criticized for harboring a latent ethnocentrism. Ruddick responded to these critiques in the 1995 edition of her book, but her response has not yet been addressed in the feminist philosophical literature. This essay addresses this lacuna in the scholarship on Ruddick. In the last installment of this critique, Alison Bailey and Patrice DiQuinzio suggested that the only way for Ruddick to avoid the ethnocentrism charge would require her near-universalistic claims about mothering (...) to be rejected in favor of “particularized, localized accounts of mothering.” In this essay I'll show that this claim goes too far. After reviewing Lugones's and Bailey's critiques of Ruddick, along with Ruddick's response, I propose a “modified universalism” that addresses the concerns raised by Ruddick's critics while preserving key elements of her theory. (shrink)
I welcome the opportunity to respond to Kelly Oliver's critique of my paper published earlier in this journal for at least three reasons: out of respect for the tradition of intellectual exchange to which Oliver's invitation tacitly appeals; because the issues are of quite general importance, even far beyond feminist theory; and out of fidelity to the goals of contemporary feminist theory, central to which I take to be the unravelling of classical dichotomies. This commitment inspires me to protest the (...) current tendency among some feminist critics to tacitly reinforce (often under the name of "deconstruction") the very dichotomy between objectivism and relativism which I and others have sought to undermine. Here, as always, the tell-tale marks of such oppositional reconstructions are to be found in the collapse and obliteration of distinctions internal to the categories under questions. (shrink)
We summarize several experiments indicating that the saccadic system is capable of simultaneously programming two movements toward different goals. This concurrent processing of saccades can lead to the execution of two saccades separated by an extremely short intersaccadic interval. This supports the idea of target competition proposed in Findlay & Walker's article, but suggests a greater degree of parallel processing. We provide evidence that concurrent processing of two saccades is not limited to higher-level planning subsystems; rather, it also involves both (...) regions close enough to the motor output that it can systematically affect saccade trajectory. (shrink)
Just War has attracted considerable attention. The words peace and justice are often used together. Surprisingly, however, little conceptual thinking has gone into what constitutes a Just Peace. This book, which includes some of the world's leading scholars, debates and develops the concept of Just Peace. -/- The problem with the idea of a Just Peace is that striving for justice may imply a Just War. In other words, peace and justice clash at times. Therefore, one often starts from a (...) given view of what constitutes justice, but this a priori approach leads - especially when imposed from the outside - straight into discord. This book presents conflicting viewpoints on this question from political, historical, and legal perspectives as well as from a policy perspective. -/- The book also argues that Just Peace should be defined as a process resting on four necessary and sufficient conditions: thin recognition whereby the other is accepted as autonomous; thick recognition whereby identities need to be accounted for; renouncement, requiring significant sacrifices from all parties; and finally, rule, the objectification of a Just Peace by a "text" requiring a common language respecting the identities of each, and defining their rights and duties. This approach based on a language-oriented process amongst directly concerned parties, goes beyond liberal and culturalist perspectives. Throughout the process, negotiators need to build a novel shared reality as well as a new common language allowing for an enduring harmony between previously clashing peoples. -/- It challenges a liberal view of peace founded on norms claiming universal scope. The liberal conception has difficulty in solving conflicts such as civil wars characterized typically by fundamental disagreements between different communities. Cultures make demands that are identity-defining, and some of these defy the "cultural neutrality" that is one of the foundations of liberalism. Therefore, the concept of Just Peace cannot be solved within the liberal tradition. (shrink)
This paper continues a debate about the relation between Christian philosophers and theologians begun by Gordon Kaufman, who argued that Christian theologians need not be interested in “evidentialism.” In particular it replies to a paper by William Hasker charging that an earlier defense of Kaufman’s position introduced tensions because it required judgments about the merits of “evidentialism” which could be defended only by using the evidentialist arguments whose importance Kaufman denied. This reply denies that there are the tensions Hasker claims (...) and argues that the judgments need not rest on a detailed assessment of evidentialist arguments. (shrink)
James Keller recently argued that miracles in the sense of divine intervention are immoral because in such acts God would unfairly choose to help the beneficiary of the miracle over others who may be equally in need and just as deserving. I respond generally by arguing that his analysis overlooks the possibility that those who do not receive the miraculous intervention may receive other benefits of equal or greater value and that there may be purposes for miraculous intervention which (...) transcend individual benefit. More specifically, I argue that Keller's understanding of miracles does not accommodate the Christian doctrine of grace, that he does not come to grips with the evangelical purpose of miracles depicted in Christian apologetics, that his view of the context in which miracles occur is abstract and sterile in light of charismatic experience, and finally that his argument leads to the counterintuitive conclusion that the Resurrection of Christ is somehow immoral. In the light of these considerations, I argue that miracles are not immoral. (shrink)
I argue that although in "The Gender/Science System," Keller intends to formulate a middle ground position in order to open science to feminist criticisms without forcing it into relativism, she steps back into objectivism. While she endorses the dynamic-object model for science, she endorses the static-object model for philosophy of science. I suggest that by modeling her methodology for philosophy on her methodology for science her philosophy would better serve her feminist goals.
Our Book Review Editor, James Keller, invited William Hasker to write a review of the Book by D.Z. Phillips, The Problem of Evil and the Problem of God and then in consultation with the Editor-in-Chief invited Phillips to respond. Aware of both their respect for each other and their philosophical differences we planned that Hasker’s review and Phillips’ response would appear in the same issue of the International Journal for Philosophy of Religion. Unfortunately that was not to be. Dewi, (...) as he was known to his many friends throughout the world, collapsed at his desk on 25 July, 2006 in the library of his beloved University of Wales, Swansea. Although we were not able to have the review and response appear in the same issue as we had all planned, we are now printing his response to Hasker’s review, “D.Z. Phillips’s Problems with Evil and with God,” which appeared in IJPR, Vol. 61,3. Dewi had completed the review and thanks to the efforts of Helen Baldwin who prepared the manuscript and Dewi’s wife, Monica, and family we are able to print it here. Since Dewi was responding to an earlier version of Hasker’s review, a few minor editorial changes have been made. Dewi’s death is a great loss to the philosophical community and a deep personal loss to his family and friends, but I am confident that he would be pleased to have this response appear. He might even have a story to tell, a comment that those who knew him well will fully understand. Eugene Thomas Long. (shrink)
Ford’s <span class='Hi'>Helen</span> <span class='Hi'>Keller</span> Was Never in a Chinese Room claims that my argument in How <span class='Hi'>Helen</span> <span class='Hi'>Keller</span> Used Syntactic Semantics to Escape from a Chinese Room fails because Searle and I use the terms ‘syntax’ and ‘semantics’ differently, hence are at cross purposes. Ford has misunderstood me; this reply clarifies my theory.
A computer can come to understand natural language the same way Helen Keller did: by using “syntactic semantics”—a theory of how syntax can suffice for semantics, i.e., how semantics for natural language can be provided by means of computational symbol manipulation. This essay considers real-life approximations of Chinese Rooms, focusing on Helen Keller’s experiences growing up deaf and blind, locked in a sort of Chinese Room yet learning how to communicate with the outside world. Using the (...) SNePS computational knowledge-representation system, the essay analyzes Keller’s belief that learning that “everything has a name” was the key to her success, enabling her to “partition” her mental concepts into mental representations of: words, objects, and the naming relations between them. It next looks at Herbert Terrace’s theory of naming, which is akin to Keller’s, and which only humans are supposed to be capable of. The essay suggests that computers at least, and perhaps non-human primates, are also capable of this kind of naming. (shrink)
The political theorist William E. Connolly reads Augustine's Confessions as an exhortation to deny the paradox of identity/difference. The paradox for Connolly is this: if one confesses a true identity, one must be false to difference, but if one is true to difference, one must sacrifice the promise of true identity. I revisit Augustine's Confessions here in order to offer a reading of their paradoxical character that contrasts with Connolly's. I will argue that Augustine's confession does not deny the paradox (...) of identity/difference but exemplifies what it means to struggle within it. I turn to James Wetzel's work on Augustine's idea of free will and Catherine Keller's work on the doctrine of creatio ex nihilo to suggest that treating Augustine's confession as confession reveals this struggle. (shrink)
William Rapaport, in How Helen Keller used syntactic semantics to escape from a Chinese Room, (Rapaport 2006), argues that Helen Keller was in a sort of Chinese Room, and that her subsequent development of natural language fluency illustrates the flaws in Searle’s famous Chinese Room Argument and provides a method for developing computers that have genuine semantics (and intentionality). I contend that his argument fails. In setting the problem, Rapaport uses his own preferred definitions of semantics and syntax, (...) but he does not translate Searle’s Chinese Room argument into that idiom before attacking it. Once the Chinese Room is translated into Rapaport’s idiom (in a manner that preserves the distinction between meaningful representations and uninterpreted symbols), I demonstrate how Rapaport’s argument fails to defeat the CRA. This failure brings a crucial element of the Chinese Room Argument to the fore: the person in the Chinese Room is prevented from connecting the Chinese symbols to his/her own meaningful experiences and memories. This issue must be addressed before any victory over the CRA is announced. (shrink)
Nature's experiments in isolation—the wild boy of Aveyron, Genie, their name is hardly legion—are by their nature illusive. Helen Keller, blind and deaf from her 18th month and isolated from language until well into her sixth year, presents a unique case in that every stage in her development was carefully recorded and she herself, graduate of Radcliffe College and author of 14 books, gave several careful and insightful accounts of her linguistic development and her cognitive and sensory situation. (...) Perhaps because she is masked, and enshrined, in William Gibson's mythic and false Miracle worker , cognitive scientists have yet to come to terms with this richly enlightening, albeit anecdotal, resource. (shrink)
This paper is a reply to James Keller's criticisms of my Foundationalism, Coherentism and the Levels Gambit (Synthese 55, April 1983).Foundationalists have often claimed that, within a foundationalist framework, one can justify beliefs about epistemic principles in a mediate, empirical fashion, while escaping the charge of vicious circularity that is usually thought to afflict such methods of justification. In my original paper I attacked this foundationalist strategy; I argued that once mediate, empirical justification of epistemic principles is allowed, (...) the foundationalist must also allow circular patterns of justification of the sort that he typically criticizes coherentists for espousing. Here I argue that Keller's reply only makes matters worse for the foundationalist. At several points, his reply turns out to be inconsistent either with reliabilism or with the foundationalist strategy he is trying to defend. (shrink)
In this paper, I undertake an exploration of the similarities I find between the epistemological projects of John Dewey and Evelyn Fox Keller. These similarities, I suggest, warrant considering Dewey and Keller to share membership in an epistemological tradition, a tradition I label the "Coresponsible Option." In my examination, I focus on Dewey's and Keller's ontological assertion that we live in a world that is an inextricable mixture of certainty and chance, and on their resultant conception of (...) inquiry as a communal relationship. (shrink)
One of the principle aims of the B version of Kant’s transcendental deduction is to show how it is possible that the same “I think” can accompany all of my representations, which is a transcendental condition of the possibility of judgment. Contra interpreters such as A. Brook, I show that this “I think” is an a priori (reflected) self-consciousness; contra P. Keller, I show that this a priori self-consciousness is first and foremost a consciousness of one’s personal identity from (...) a first person point of view. (shrink)
Many philosophers hold that the achievement of one’s goals can contribute to one’s welfare apart from whatever independent contributions that the objects of those goals, or the processes by which they are achieved, make. Call this the Achievement View, and call those who accept it achievementists. In this paper, I argue that achievementists should accept both (a) that one factor that affects how much the achievement of a goal contributes to one’s welfare is the amount that one has invested in (...) that goal and (b) that the amount that one has invested in a goal is a function of how much one has personally sacrificed for its sake, not a function of how much effort one has put into achieving it. So I will, contrary to at least one achievementist (viz., Keller 2004, 36), be arguing against the view that the greater the amount of productive effort that goes into achieving a goal, the more its achievement contributes to one’s welfare. Furthermore, I argue that the reason that the achievement of those goals for which one has personally sacrificed matters more to one’s welfare is that, in general, the redemption of one’s self-sacrifices in itself contributes to one’s welfare. Lastly, I argue that the view that the redemption of one’s self-sacrifices in itself contributes to one’s welfare is plausible independent of whether or not we find the Achievement View plausible. We should accept this view so as to account both for the Shape-of-a-Life Phenomenon and for the rationality of honoring “sunk” costs. (shrink)
This collection of essays, first published two decades ago, presents central feminist critiques and analyses of natural and social sciences and their philosophies. Unfortunately, in spite of the brilliant body of research and scholarship in these fields in subsequent decades, the insights of these essays remain as timely now as they were then: philosophy and the sciences still presume kinds of social innocence to which they are not entitled. The essays focus on Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Hobbes, Rousseau, and Marx; on (...) the 'adversary method' model of philosophic reasoning; on principles of individuation on philosophical ontology and philosophy of language; on individualistic assumptions in psychology; functionalism in sociological and biological theory; evolutionary theory; the methodology of political science; and conceptions of objective inquiry in the sciences. In taking insights of both Liberal and Marxian women's movements into the purportedly most abstract and value-free areas of Western thought, these essays chart sexist and androcentric assumptions, claims and practices in the cognitive, technical cores of Western sciences and their philosophies. They begin to identify the distinctive aspects of women's experiences and locations in male-supremacist social structures which can provide resources needed for the creation of post-androcentric thinking in research, scholarship, and public policy. Such uses of feminist insights remain controversial today, and even among some feminists. These authors were all junior researchers and scholars two decades ago; today many are among the most distinguished senior scholars in their fields. Their work here provides a splendid opportunity for upper-level undergraduate and graduate students in philosophy and the social sciences to explore some of the most intriguing and controversial challenges to disciplinary projects and to public policy today. (shrink)
Some say that presentism precludes time travel into the past since it implies that the past does not exist, but this is a bad argument. Presentism says that only currently existing entities exist, and that the only properties and relations those entities instantiate are those that they currently instantiate. This does in a sense imply that the past does not exist. But if that precluded time travel into the past, it would also preclude the one-second-per-second “time travel” into the future (...) that is ordinary persistence, for presentism accords the future the same ontological status as the past. Instead of quantifying over past and future objects and events, presentists speak a tensed language, regimented with primitive sentential tense operators. For a presentist, a persisting person is one who did exist, and who will exist. Regimented, these claims become: it was the case that she exists, and it will be the case that she exists. The presentist may then apply the same strategy to time travel proper. Suppose Katy travels back to the time of the dinosaurs. The presentist can say that it was the case two hundred million years ago that Katy exists. This claim, which consists of a present-tense statement “Katy exists” embedded within the past tense operator it was the case two hundred million years ago that, is exactly the sort of statement about time that a presentist is free to accept. This has all been made clear by Simon Keller and Michael Nelson ( ). In addition to rebutting the bad argument against the consistency of presentism and time travel, Keller and Nelson argue positively in favor of consistency by showing how to translate David Lewis’s ( ) account of time travel into the presentist’s tensed language. The appearance of con ict between presentism and time travel, they argue, is due only to the fact that most defenders of time travel (for example Lewis) have tended to phrase their defenses in nonpresentist terms. As much as I applaud their rebuttal of the bad argument, I wish to sound a note of caution.. (shrink)
We have benefited from conversations with Archon Fung, Brian Jacob, Todd Pittinsky, Peter Schuck, Ani Satz, Andrew Williams, and students in a joint class on statistics and ethics at the John F. Kennedy School of Government in October 2002. We are also grateful to our audience at the conference “The Priority of Practice,” organized by Jonathan Wolff at University College London in September 2003, and to Arthur Applbaum, Miriam Avins, Frances Kamm, Simon Keller, Frederick Schauer, Alan Wertheimer, and the (...) Editors of Phi- losophy & Public Affairs for insightful comments. We have benefited from prepublication reading of Schauer’s work on profiling, Profiles, Probabilities, and Stereotypes (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 2003). We thank Avedis Koutoujian for research assistance. (shrink)
In recent continental philosophy of religion there has been significant attention paid to the Abrahamic doctrines of creation ex nihilo and divine omnipotence, especially by deconstructive thinkers such as Derrida, Caputo, and Keller. For these thinkers, the doctrine represents a form of agency that does violence to various forms of alterity. While broadly supportive of their fundamental philosophical and ethico-political views, especially about the primordiality of alterity, I differ from them in that I argue that creation ex nihilo articulates (...) the very structure of the alterity they are concerned with. The essay proceeds through a reading of Derrida’s representation of the doctrine and a “deconstruction” of his view by means of a reading of Augustine and Anselm. (shrink)
In Making Sense of Life , Keller emphasizes several differences between biology and physics. Her analysis focuses on significant ways in which modelling practices in some areas of biology, especially developmental biology, differ from those of the physical sciences. She suggests that natural models and modelling by homology play a central role in the former but not the latter. In this paper, I focus instead on those practices that are importantly similar, from the point of view of epistemology and (...) cognitive science. I argue that concrete and abstract models are significant in both disciplines, that there are shared selection criteria for models in physics and biology, e.g. familiarity, and that modelling often occurs in a similar fashion. (shrink)
The truthmaker objection to presentism (the view that only what exists now exists simpliciter) is that it lacks sufficient metaphysical resources to ground truths about the past. In this paper I identify five constraints that an adequate presentist response must satisfy. In light of these constraints, I examine and reject responses by Bigelow, Keller, Crisp, and Bourne. Consideration of how these responses fail, however, points toward a proposal that works; one that posits God’s memories as truthmakers for truths about (...) the past. I conclude that presentists have, in the truthmaker objection, considerable incentive to endorse theism. (shrink)
Keller & Miller (K&M) propose that many psychiatric disorders are best explained in terms of a genetic watershed model. This view challenges traditional evolutionary accounts of psychiatric disorders, many of which have tried to argue in support of a presumed balanced polymorphism, implying some hidden adaptive advantage of the alleles predisposing people to psychiatric disorders. Does this mean that evolutionary ideas are no longer viable to explain psychiatric disorders? The answer is no. However, K&M's critical evaluation supports the view (...) that psychiatric disorders are not categorically distinct from normalcy, and that evolutionary psychopathology should be grounded in rigorous empirical testing. (Published Online November 9 2006). (shrink)
Three reservations about Keller & Miller's (K&M's) argument are explored: Serious validity problems afflict epidemiological criteria discriminating disorders from non-disorders, so high rates may be misleading. Normal variation need not be mild disorder, contrary to a possible interpretation of K&M's article. And, rather than mutation-selection balance, true disorders may result from unselected combinations of normal variants over many loci. (Published Online November 9 2006).
The epistemological and ontological claims of social/ist ecofeminist thought (a combination of social and socialist ecofeminism) are moving away from the dichotomy between idealism and materialism (both forms of colonial thinking about humans and the rest of the natural world). The social/ist ecofeminists have constructed a postfoundational “eco-ontology” of nature-cultures (Haraway) in which the ideal and the material are co-agents in the continuing process of creation. Given that contemporary public discourse in the United States on the topic of “environmental issues” (...) is still heavily shaped by Christian theology and metaphors, changing or challenging this discourse must also mean speaking theologically. Based upon an understanding of social/ist ecofeminist “eco-ontology,” a new understanding of God (ideal) and Creation (material) can be constructed which suggests that God is a human horizon that helps reconnect (religion/religare) Christian humans with the rest of the natural world and with the manyhuman “others” of different religious traditions. In this construction, Carolyn Merchant’s understanding of humans as “partners” with nature and Catherine Keller’s postcolonial critique of the Christian doctrine of creation out of nothing are the most helpful. (shrink)
While feminist epistemologists have made important contributions to the deconstruction of the traditional representationalist model, some elements of the Cartesian legacy remain. For example, relativism continues to play a role in the underdetermination thesis used by Longino and Keller. Both argue that because scientific theories are underdetermined by evidence, theory choice must be relative to interpretive frameworks. Utilizing Davidson's philosophy of language, I offer a nonrepresentationalist alternative to suggest how relativism can be more fully avoided.
In this paper I begin by examining a particularly disturbing eliminativist argument from Evelyn Fox Keller against the continued use of the very concept of the gene. If Fox Keller’s argument were to work, then any attempt to continue with or attempt to revise behavioral genetics would be doomed. In the course of replying to Fox Keller’s argument a revised, functional concept of the gene is presented and defending. Using this revised conception of the gene I then (...) consider how appeal to a functional approach to the gene can itself lead to a more general functionalist revision of the basic behavioral genetics project. In the third part of the paper I then turn to examining the advantages with respect to scientific explanation that such a functionalist account can provide. And, I end by considering how such an account might provide some help in dealing with additional ethical worries, including additional ethical arguments from Fox Keller against the continued use of the concept of the gene as well as ethical concerns that have been raised regarding behaviorally designed babies. (shrink)
The self-visitation paradox is one paradox of time travel. As Ted Sider puts it, “Suppose I travel back in time and stand in a room with my sitting 10-year-old self. I seem to be both sitting and standing, but how can that be?” (2001, 101). So as not to beg any questions, let us label what is sitting B and what is standing C. The worry is about how B can be C in light of the looming contradiction that this (...) one person would be sitting and standing. Sider’s own approach is perdurantist, and holds that B is not C. My concern, though, is with solutions offered by, or on behalf of, endurantists–more 1 specifically, with solutions holding that B is C. The endurantist answer I shall criticize is a relativizer position maintaining that the sitting and the standing need to be relativized to the personal time or proper time of the time traveler. This manner of solution has been offered by Paul Horwich (1975, 433-435 ; 1987, 114-115) and also by Simon Keller and Michael Nelson (2001, 344). I will show that such a view has a linguistically suspect element and that there are three further reasons why relativizing only in this way falls short of solving the paradox. This will be enough to squash the relativizer position because it will not be clear how additional relativization could help, and furthermore any additional relativization would only make the linguistic matter worse. I will also present some considerations in favor of a non-contradiction endurantist alternative; this view eliminates the need for any relativization by denying that sitting and standing are contradictory properties. (shrink)
Keller & Miller's (K&M's) conclusion appears to be correct; namely, that common, harmful, heritable mental disorders are largely maintained at present frequencies by mutation-selection balance at many different loci. However, their “paradox” is questionable. (Published Online November 9 2006).
Ford’s Helen Keller Was Never in a Chinese Room claims that my argument in How Helen Keller Used Syntactic Semantics to Escape from a Chinese Room fails because Searle and I use the terms ‘syntax’ and ‘semantics’ differently, hence are at cross purposes. Ford has misunderstood me; this reply clarifies my theory.
Suicidal behavior is an interesting blank space in Keller & Miller's (K&M's) population genetical account on explaining the existence and persistence of common, harmful, heritable mental disorders. I argue that suicidal behavior is yet another of these disorders. It may well be consistent with all three evolutionary models considered by K&M. (Published Online November 9 2006).
Keller & Miller's (K&M's) treatment of disorders usefully avoids diagnostic minutiae; but it needs more real-world constraints. Classifying processes by their evolutionary age helps to clarify both evolution and current function. Evolutionarily old, optimised, normative processes deserve special recognition, because they can be studied in animals and computers, and because they provide the machinery through which disorder-related polymorphisms act. (Published Online November 9 2006).
This book presents the current feminist critique of science and the philosophy of science in such a way that students of philosophy of science, philosophers, feminist theorists, and scientists will find the material accessible and intellectually rigorous.Contemporary feminist debate, as well as the debate brought on by the radical critics of science, assumes—incorrectly—that certain movements in philosophy of science and science-driven theory are understood in their dynamics as well as in their details. All too often, labels such as “Kuhnian” or (...) “positivistic” are taken for granted, and much of the contemporary postmodern or post-structuralist feminist theory that sets out to criticize science does little to alleviate the reader’s lack of knowledge with regard to such movements.Unlike other texts, Philosophies of Science: Feminist Theories provides a student-oriented framework so that, for example, positivism is given a thorough grounding before the feminist critique of such epistemological theory is given. Other movements discussed include the Kuhnian turn, sociology of science, and the radical critique of science. Feminist theory and critique are interwoven throughout, with one chapter devoted to feminist thought, which includes the work of such thinkers as Longino, Hararway, Hubbard, Nelson, Harding, and Keller. (shrink)
Since Galileo, critics have waged a relentless assault against science, attacking it as dehumanizing, reductionist, relativistic, dominating, and imperialistic. Supporters meanwhile view science as synonymous with modernity and progress. The current debates over the role of science-- described by such headlines as Scientists are Urged to Fight Back Against `Politically Correct' Critics in The Chronicle of Higher Education--testify to how deeply divided we remain about the values and responsibilities of science in the modern age. Acknowledging the validity of a deep (...) skepticism about science but eager to preserve its strengths and values, Alfred I. Tauber's anthology seeks to avoid an either/or configuration. Science, Tauber argues, is fundamentally pluralistic and must accept detracting criticism as part of its very code in the hope that, in its defense, the scientific enterprise is strengthened and reaffirmed. Featuring essays by a wide range of interdisciplinary, classical, and contemporary thinkers such as Martin Heidegger, Thomas Kuhn, Hilary Putnam, Evelyn Fox Keller, and Max Weber, the work is divided into five parts: science and its worldview; the problem of scientific realism; the nature of scientific change; the boundaries of science; and science and values. (shrink)
To the evolutionarily oriented clinical psychiatrist, the discipline of behavioural ecology is a fertile basic science. Human psychology discusses variation in terms of means, standard deviations, heritabilities, and so on, but behavioural ecology deals with mutually incompatible alternative behavioural strategies, the heritable variation being maintained by negative frequency-dependent selection. I suggest that behavioural ecology should be included in the interdisciplinary dialogue recommended by Keller & Miller (K&M). (Published Online November 9 2006).
Head-driven phrase structure grammar (HPSG) is one of the most prominent theories employed in deep parsing of natural language. Many linguistic theories are arguably best formalized in extensions of modal or dynamic logic (Keller, Feature logics, infinitary descriptions and grammar, 1993; Kracht, Linguistics Philos 18:401–458, 1995; Moss and Tiede, In: Blackburn, van Benthem, and Wolther (eds.) Handbook of modal logic, 2006), and HPSG seems to be no exception. Adequate extensions of dynamic logic have not been studied in detail, however; (...) the most important aspect is the reference to sets of substructures. In this paper, an adequate extension is identified, and some important results are established: Satisfiability is highly undecidable, and model checking is shown to be in EXPTIME and PSPACE-hard. A fragment with polynomial time model checking procedures is identified; it is shown to cover considerable fragments of HPSG. (shrink)