The Kripkean conception of natural kinds (kinds are defined by essences that are intrinsic to their members and that lie at the microphysical level) indirectly finds support in a certain conception of a law of nature, according to which generalizations must have unlimited scope and be exceptionless to count as laws of nature. On my view, the kinds that constitute the subject matter of special sciences such as biology may very well turn out to be natural despite the fact that (...) their essences fail to be microphysical or micro-based. On the causal conception of natural kinds I privilege, the naturalness of a kind is a function of the fact that it figures prominently in at least one causal law. However, there is a strong tendency prevailing among contemporary philosophers to assume that, in order to count as proper laws generalizations must be expectionless. Since most generalizations tracked down by the special sciences turn out not to fulfill these criteria, what this conception of a law implies is that most of the generalizations the special sciences trade in are not proper laws. It follows that, on this view, most if not all of the kinds the special sciences dealing with turn out not to constitute natural kinds, understood as kinds to which bona fide laws apply. In order to establish that the non-microstructurally defined kinds that fall within the domain of enquiry of the special sciences are eligible for the status of natural kind, I must therefore establish that generalizations needn’t have unlimited scope and be exceptionless to count as laws of nature. This is precisely what I seek to do in this paper. I begin by arguing that the question “what is a law of nature?” is most naturally interpreted as the question “what features must generalizations exhibit in order to ground scientific explanations?” and by offering reasons to believe that generalizations needn’t be exceptionless and have unlimited scope to play the crucial role laws have been thought to play in scientific explanation. Drawing on Sandra Mitchell [Mitchell, S. (2000). Philosophy of Science, 67, 242–265] and James Woodward’s [Woodward, J. (1997). Philosophy of science, 64 (proceedings), 524–541; Woodward, J. (2000). British Journal for the philosophy of science, 51(2), 197–254; Woodward, J. (2001). Philosophy of science, 68, 1–20] work, I subsequently develop an alternative account of the criteria generalizations must satisfy in order to count as laws of nature, which at least some of the generalizations of the special sciences turn out to fulfill. I thus give credence to the idea that at least some of the kinds that fall within the domain of the special sciences figure in laws of nature, and I thereby restore the possibility that some special science kinds deserve to be deemed natural. (shrink)
Do psychotherapists' unethical practices influence how they are perceived? The 202 Israeli lay and professional psychology participants rated systematically varied descriptions of effective therapists and potential clients under conditions of no difficulties (standard), practice without a license, and a previous sexual boundary violation on indexes of evaluation and willingness to refer. Participants completed a measure of important variables in therapist selection. Effective standard therapists were rated most favorably, unlicensed therapists were rated favorably, and therapists who violated sexual boundaries in the (...) past were rated least favorably. When results were analyzed by respondent characteristics, laypersons rated unlicensed professionals (p < .01) and sexual boundary violators (p < .0001) more positively than did clinical psychologists. Men rated the violators more favorably than did women (p < .05). Factor analysis of therapist selection measures identified professional and personal factors, but only the former were associated with ratings of "problem" therapists. The results underscore the gap between ethical standards and applied decisions made by professionals and laypersons. Further investigation is needed to ensure quality care in both professional and consumer approaches to psychotherapy. (shrink)
In the last century, psychology has taken over moral questions. Theoretically, it has incorporated moral views into its various theories; practically, psychotherapists use moral discourse in their practice even when not substantiated by theory, as there seems to be a gap between what the theory can offer and the clients? need. I probe the views on morality incorporated in psychological theories in order to expose their unsatisfactory content. I then point out that the practice of psychotherapy makes use of moral (...) discussion. An important consequence of the insufficiency of the theory is that the discussion that actually takes place is in most cases unsubstantiated by theory. I conclude, therefore, that psychologists are not trained to do what they are doing. Moreover, the examination of historical and social factors that led to this situation suggests the conclusion that the role of discussing moral and ethical questions should be taken over by philosophical counselors. One consequence of the argument is that by answering a need in our society created by the weakening of established religion, philosophical practice is much in demand today without being necessarily in opposition to psychology or psychologists. (shrink)
Should philosophers address the needs of their societies? If the answer is affirmative, and if today's needs are being inadequately answered within the New Age movement for lack of viable alternatives, philosophers' minimal response could be teaching critical thinking outside the academe, and maximal response would be providing relevant wisdom for the world. The first option requires construing logic and epistemology as practical fields. The second requires reforming part of Philosophy as social thinking which provides relevant wisdom for the world. (...) I expose here the maximal response based on an analysis of society's needs forcosmology and spirituality, the New Age Movement's role in providing for those needs, its dangers and imperviousness to criticism, and philosophers' possible responsibility for and interest in answering the needs for a synoptic vision. (shrink)
Religious diversity is a key topic in contemporary philosophy of religion. One way religious diversity has been of interest to philosophers is in the epistemological questions it gives rise to. In other words, religious diversity has been seen to pose a challenge for religious belief. In this study four approaches to dealing with this challenge are discussed. These approaches correspond to four well-known philosophers of religion, namely, Richard Swinburne, Alvin Plantinga, William Alston, and John Hick. The study is concluded by (...) suggesting four factors which shape one’s response to the challenge religious diversity poses to religious belief. (shrink)
This paper suggests a critique of the zombie argument that bypasses the need to decide on the truth of its main premises, and specifically, avoids the need to enter the battlefield of whether conceivability entails metaphysical possibility. It is argued that if we accept, as the zombie argument’s supporters would urge us, the assumption that an ideal reasoner can conceive of a complete physical description of the world without conceiving of qualia, the general principle that conceivability entails metaphysical possibility, and (...) the general principle that for any s and t the metaphysical possibility of s & − t entails that s does not necessitate t, we have to conclude not that materialism is false but rather that either materialism or the “mental paint” (or “phenomenist”) conception of phenomenality is false. And further, given the initial advantages of materialism, the fact that proponents of the zombie argument are not allowed to rely on arguments against materialism in confronting this dilemma, and difficulties with arguments in favor of phenomenism, we find ourselves pushed to reject the mental paint conception rather than materialism. Or at any rate, it is hard to see how the proponent of the zombie argument can carry the burden of proof that lies with her. Thus, whether or not those premises of the zombie argument are true, the argument fails to refute materialism. (shrink)
The purpose of the paper is to show that semanticexternalism â the thesis that contents are notdetermined by ``individualistic'' features of mentalstates â is mistaken. Externalist thinking, it isargued, rests on two mistaken assumptions: theassumption that if there is an externalist wayof describing a situation the situation exemplifiesexternalism, and the assumption that cases in which adifference in the environment of an intentional stateentails a difference in the state's intentional objectare cases in which environmental factors determine thestate's content. Exposing these mistakes (...) leads to seethat the conditions that are required for thetruth of externalism are inconsistent. (shrink)
To sum up, then, both kinds of Putnam's arguments established externalism, though they suffer from several defects. Yet, I think Searle's discussion of these arguments contributes to our understanding of what makes externalism true, and forces us to accept a moderate version of externalism. Searle's own account of the TE story shows us, within a solipsistic outline, how two identical mental states can be directed towards different objects, and further, that the content-determination of indexical thoughts does not necessarily involve external (...) factors. We are thus led to search elsewhere (i.e., not in the nature of indexical thoughts nor in the mere fact of there being identical thoughts with different intentionalities) for what makes the thoughts in question ‘external’. Searle formulates the thesis that intension determines extension as asserting that intension sets certain conditions that anything has to meet in order to fall under its extension. I showed that this is a trivial and implausible understanding of that thesis. Yet, it leads us to distinguish between an intension's setting conditions for falling under its extension and its fully determining such conditions, and thus to see in what sense externalism is true: in the sense that there are intensions that do not fully determine the conditions for falling under their extensions. Rather, they leave indeterminacies. This version of externalism is a moderate one, since though the intensions do not fully determine extensions, they, so to speak, determine their indeterminacies, by specifying the possible external facts that can complete the determination of extension. (The intensions, as I said, function like open sentences, and can be viewed as narrow contents.) So what's in the head plays a much more important role in determining content than Putnam takes it to play. Searle's pointing out that Hilary's concepts ‘elm’ and ‘beech’ are different also contributes to seeing this phenomenon: we realize that in that case the difference between the concepts is what is responsible for the fact that the completions of the extension-determinations are different. I think that this way of viewing the facts shows that ‘the externalist turn’ is not a great revolution, and that with the help of the concept of narrow content we can accept it without abandoning the traditional views about the mind as the source of content, and without being embarrassed by the very idea of (realistic) belief-desire psychology. (shrink)
In recent years, firms have greatly increased the amount of resources allocated to activities classified as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). While an increase in CSR expenditure may be consistent with firm value maximization if it is a response to changes in stakeholders' preferences, we argue that a firm's insiders (managers and large blockholders) may seek to overinvest in CSR for their private benefit to the extent that doing so improves their reputations as good global citizens and has a "warm-glow" effect. (...) We test this hypothesis by investigating the relation between firms' CSR ratings and their ownership and capital structures. Employing a unique data set that categorizes the largest 3000 U. S. corporations as either socially responsible (SR) or socially irresponsible (SI), we find that on average, insiders' ownership and leverage are negatively related to the firm's social rating, while institutional ownership is uncorrelated with it. Assuming that higher CSR ratings is associated with higher CSR expenditure level, these results support our hypothesis that insiders induce firms to over-invest in CSR when they bear little of the cost of doing so. (shrink)
In "Contents just are in the head" (Erkenntnis 54, pp. 321-4.) I have presented two arguments against the thesis of semantic externalism. In "Contents just aren't in the head" Anthony Brueckner has argued that my arguments are unsuccessful, since they rest upon some misconceptions regarding the nature of this thesis. (Erkenntnis 58, pp. 1-6.) In the present paper I will attempt to clarify and strengthen the case against semantic externalism, and show that Brueckner misses the point of my arguments.
The paper argues that Jackson's knowledge argument fails to undermine physicalist ontology. First, it is argued that, as this argument stands, it begs the question. Second, it is suggested that by supplementing the argument (and taking one of its premises for granted), this flaw can be remedied insofar as the argument is taken to be an argument against type-physicalism; however, this flaw cannot be remedied insofar as the argument is taken to be an argument against token-physicalism. The argument cannot be (...) supplemented so as to show that experiences have properties which are illegitimate from a physicalist perspective. (shrink)
Computational properties, it is standardly assumed, are to be sharply distinguished from semantic properties. Specifically, while it is standardly assumed that the semantic properties of a cognitive system are externally or non-individualistically individuated, computational properties are supposed to be individualistic and internal. Yet some philosophers (e.g., Tyler Burge) argue that content impacts computation, and further, that environmental factors impact computation. Oron Shagrir has recently argued for these theses in a novel way, and gave them novel interpretations. In this paper I (...) present a conception of computation in cognitive science that takes Shagrir's conception as its starting point, but further develops it in various directions and strengthens it. I argue that the explanatory role of computational properties emerges from the idea that syntactical properties and the relevant external factors presented by cognitive systems compose wide computational properties. I also elaborate upon the notion of content that is in play, and argue that it is contents of the kind that are ascribed by transparent interpretations of content ascriptions that impact computation. This fact enables the thesis that external factors impact computation to rebuff the challenge which concerns the claim that psychology must be individualistic. (shrink)
The acquaintance principle (AP) and the view it expresses have recently been tied to a debate surrounding the possibility of aesthetic testimony, which, plainly put, deals with the question whether aesthetic knowledge can be acquired through testimony—typically aesthetic and non-aesthetic descriptions communicated from person to person. In this context a number of suggestions have been put forward opting for a restricted acceptance of AP. This paper is an attempt to restrict AP even more.
In 1997, thanks to a conference paper by Rolf Löther of Berlin Humboldt University, the name of Fritz Jahr (1895-1953) was mentioned for the first time as the creator of the term and concept of bioethics (Bio-Ethik). As yet, Hans-Martin Sass of the Kennedy Institute of Ethics has been the only one to analyze Jahr's ideas more thoroughly, dedicating to the subject a series of papers (see Sass 2007). In December 2010, a collection of 15 papers by Jahr was published (...) in the German original, while in May 2011, a selection of 16 papers appeared in English translation (Jahr 2011).So who, in fact, was Jahr? A humble teacher and curate who never left his home city of Halle, an old university center on the Saale River in .. (shrink)
Tel-Aviv University and York University, Toronto Plato suggested ways to regulate and integrate slaves within the legal system of his Utopian Cretan polis Magnesia as described in his work, Laws . This text alone invalidates most criticism of Popper's presentation of Plato's political views. His 50-year-old reading of Plato fits the text better than any other. To preserve the noble tradition of classical scholarship, classical scholars should acknowledge explicitly that he was correct, and that by now they have surreptitiously incorporated (...) the substance of his views. Key Words: Plato slavery apologetics classical scholarship Laws Popper. (shrink)
This paper presents a series of 4 single subject experiments aimed to investigate whether children with autism show more social engagement when interacting with the Nao robot, compared to a human partner in a motor imitation task. The Nao robot imitates gross arm movements of the child in real-time. Different behavioral criteria (i.e. eye gaze, gaze shifting, free initiations and prompted initiations of arm movements, and smile/laughter) were analyzed based on the video data of the interaction. The results are mixed (...) and suggest a high variability in reactions to the Nao robot. The results are as follows: For Child2 and Child3, the results indicate no effect of the Nao robot in any of the target variables. Child1 and Child4 showed more eye gaze and smile/laughter in the interaction with the Nao robot compared to the human partner and Child1 showed a higher frequency of motor initiations in the interaction with the Nao robot compared to the baselines, but not with respect to the human-interaction. The robot proved to be a better facilitator of shared attention only for Child1. Keywords: human-robot interaction; assistive robotics; autism. (shrink)
'At last, a volume on civilization that truly reflects the complexity of multiple civilizations. The wealth of contributions Arjomand and Tiryakian have assembled demonstrates the value of an old concept for understanding the awful dilemmas confronting human kind in the global age. Its thoroughgoing renewal here establishes this book as the essential benchmark for future scholars of civilization' - Martin Albrow, Founding Editor of International Sociology and author of The Global Age - winner of the European Amalfi Prize, 1997 'In (...) our tension filled world, many are heralding, and others fearing, a"clash of civilizations." The contributors to this volume provides a healthy and persuasive argument about why this clash need not, and certainly should not, take place. They do so, moreover, not by rejecting the concept of civilization, but by developing a less primordial, homogenous, and essentialist concept of it. An important collection that provides illumination in this sometimes frighteningly dark time' - Jeffrey Alexander, Professor and Chair of Sociology at Yale University 'The concept of civilization may well replace the notions of globalization and identity as the core component in the vocabulary of 21st century sociology. The authors contribute a great deal to the clarification of fashionable controversies around the "clash of civilizations" and "multiculturalism". They go a long way toward purging the concept of civilization of its ideological overtones, and they suceed admirably in turning it into powerful analytic tool of an emerging fleld of macrosociology, known already as civilizational analysis' - Piotr Sztompka, President, International Sociological Association Although the concept of 'civilization' has deep roots in the social sciences, there is an urgent need to re-think it for contemporary times. This book points to an exhaustion in using 'the nation state' and 'world system' as the basic macro-units of social analysis because they do not get to grips with the 'soft power' variable of cultural factors involved in global aspects of development. Also, globalization requires us to reconsider the link between civilization and a fixed or given territory. This book focuses upon the dynamic aspect of civilizations. Among the topics covered are: · Civilizational analysis and social theory · Global civilization and local cultures · Civilizational forms · Rationalization and Civilization · Civilizations as zones of prestige · Historical and comparative dimensions of civilization · The clash of civilizations. (shrink)
This paper distinguishes four major types of futility (physiological, imminent demise, lethal condition, and qualitative) that have been advocated in the literature either in a patient dependent or a patient independent fashion. It proposes five criteria (precision, prospective, social acceptability, significant number, and non-agreement) that any definition of futility must satisfy if it is to serve as the basis for unilaterally limiting futile care. It then argues that none of the definitions that have been advocated meet the criteria, primarily because (...) their proponents have not paid sufficient attention to the problematic nature of the data supporting the use of their definitions. Keywords: futility, limiting care, medical decision making, PVS, CPR CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
Contributors to the recent disagreement debate have sought to provide a uniform response to cases in which epistemic peers disagree about the epistemic import of a shared body of evidence, no matter what kind of evidence they are disagreeing about. The varied cases addressed in the literature have included examples of disagreement about restaurant bills, court verdicts, weather forecasting, chess, morality, religious beliefs, and even disagreements about philosophical disagreements. The equal treatment of these varied cases has motivated the search for (...) a uniform response to peer disagreement wherever it is encountered. In this article I challenge this prevalent approach in the literature. I grant the notion of epistemic peer and accept that being a peer may amount to the same thing in different domains; nonetheless I contend that different domains appear to call for different responses to disagreement. I argue that the appropriate response to finding out about a disagreement with a peer is different in different domains. (shrink)
On July 12, 2006, the Hezbollah terrorist organization attacked two Israeli Defense Forces' armored Hummer jeeps patrolling along the border with gunfire and explosives, in the midst of massive shelling attacks on Israel's north. Three soldiers were killed in the attack and two were taken hostage. The Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) began heavy artillery and tank fire. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert convened the government on Wednesday night, June 12, 2006 to decide Israel's reaction. The government agreed that the attack had (...) created a completely new situation on the northern border, and that Israel must take steps that will "exact a price", and restore its deterrence. The Israeli-Hezbollah War had started after one rushed and short governmental meeting, without realizing the full implications of the decision. The war ended on August 14, 2006 when the UN Security Council Resolution (no. 1701) entered into force. During the war, voices of protest were heard in Israel, mainly from reserve service soldiers, journalists, and distinguished writers. After the war, thousands of people have criticized the government decisions, demanded the establishment of a national inquiry committee to investigate the war events and, called for the resignation of the war architects: Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Minister of Defence Amir Peretz, and Chief of Staff Dan Halutz. This article criticizes the establishment of the committee and the results it reached, arguing that it was a "sold game": The person under investigation should never be allowed to nominate his judges. This is mockery of justice, and travesty of social responsibility. (shrink)
Thus far, recent protests in the Arab world have led to different political outcomes including regime change, civil war, and suppression by regime. The present paper explores the reasons behind these different outcomes. The research methodology is a comparative case study approach, and five countries of Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Libya, and Syria are examined. The hypothesis is that the different political outcomes of the protests are due to a combination of factors, including the level of mobilization of anti-regime movements, the (...) responses of national militaries, and finally the reaction of international powers. Different configurations of these components in the crisis-stricken countries have led to different political outcomes. (shrink)
One of the central factors influencing the process and the outcome of technology transfer is the nature of the technology being transferred. This paper identifies and discusses the main characteristics of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology from the point of view of international technology transfer. It attempts to indicate the peculiarities of AI in this context and move towards a framework to assist recipient decision makers in optimising the formulation of their policies on AI technology transfer.
Charmed by Corballis's presentation, we challenge the use of mirror neurons as a supporting platform for the gestural theory of language, the link between vocalization and cerebral specialization, and the relationship between gesture and language as two separate albeit coupled systems of communication. We revive an alternative explanation of lateralization of language and handedness.
What is the relationship between acquaintance and aesthetic judgement? Wollheim’s acquaintance principle (AP) is one answer. Amir Konigsberg—the most recent critic of AP—has produced a number of examples which he claims will require us to restrict AP even further than has previously been suggested. I argue that Konigsberg is mistaken and that his examples do not necessitate any further restrictions on AP. This failure, however, is not the result of some specific flaw in Konigsberg’s argument; rather it is an (...) artefact of a deeper problem at the heart of the current debate over AP (and its successors). I conclude by arguing that this problem—the absence of any satisfactory reformulation of AP itself—has far-reaching consequences for our theorizing in aesthetics. (shrink)
Much has been said on the religious pluralism of John Hick but little attention has been given to a key step in his argument for religious pluralism. This key step is the observation that the universe is religiously ambiguous. Hick himself is ambiguous about what he means by ‘religious ambiguity’. In this essay I will attempt to rectify this ambiguity by analysing the notion of ‘religious ambiguity’ and arguing what interpretation of this term Hick must commit himself to.
This work discusses a number of issues concerning mental contents. Its main purpose is to account for our thinking about extra-mental reality. I wish, in other words, to answer the question what makes it the case that mental states have the specific contents that they do. I try to present a theory that answers this question without using any semantic/intentional terms. Yet, the theory is neutral regarding the ontological status of the intentional and of the mental generally.