Generic statements (e.g., “Birds lay eggs”) express generalizations about categories. In this paper, we hypothesized that there is a paradoxical asymmetry at the core of generic meaning, such that these sentences have extremely strong implications but require little evidence to be judged true. Four experiments confirmed the hypothesized asymmetry: Participants interpreted novel generics such as “Lorches have purple feathers” as referring to nearly all lorches, but they judged the same novel generics to be true given a wide range of prevalence (...) levels (e.g., even when only 10% or 30% of lorches had purple feathers). A second hypothesis, also confirmed by the results, was that novel generic sentences about dangerous or distinctive properties would be more acceptable than generic sentences that were similar but did not have these connotations. In addition to clarifying important aspects of generics’ meaning, these findings are applicable to a range of real-world processes such as stereotyping and political discourse. (shrink)
Gender discrimination is a reality affecting an important part of the socio-economic life. The study aims to examine, by using quantitative techniques, the main tendencies in the Romanian society regarding gender discrimination, as perceived by the young, educated population. In order to meet the objectives of the study, a cluster sampling was performed among the Romanian students. The results from the statisti- cal sampling were compared to national data from several studies made by national and international organizations. In the final (...) part of the study, the findings of sampling research are validated by a logit model. The model is presenting the main factors that are generating gender discrimination, as well as the most important variables throughout which discrimination is perceived in Romania. (shrink)
In this study there are presented a series of aspects concerning the religious behavior of the Romanian population. By using quantitative analysis we have identified a series of religious key factors which can be used by parties and politicians to obtain votes during election campaigns. The obtained results highlight the fact that people with a lower level of education are more receptive to the political messages transmitted by religious means. Also, the influence of political actions and messages having a religious (...) character is more powerful at the level of the population with a lower standard of living. By means of quantitative analysis we have also evaluated the impact of religious and ethnical fractionalization on the political representation in the national parliament. (shrink)
A few decades ago, only isolated groups of philosophers counted the phenomenon of normativity as one of their principal interests. Rules and norms have always, of course, been in the purview of moral philosophers, who often took them as exceedingly abstract entities, if not directly metaphysical. Philosophers from the border territories of philosophy and social sciences, on the other hand, were interested in more concrete norms, namely those that emerge and survive within human societies. Philosophers of law stood between these (...) two extremes, studying law as a matter of socially instituted norms which, however, might be seen as a projection of something more esoteric. The research programs of these groups of philosophers had little overlap. And for philosophers of mind, of language, or of science (with the exception of a few philosophers of social sciences, such as Peter Winch), norms were at most only of marginal interest. This situation has changed hugely over recent decades. I think the catalyst was the interest in rules and norms within the philosophy of language, which was kindled by the ongoing reception of the later Wittgenstein. Other philosophers, like Michael Dummett and Wilfrid Sellars, also deserve part of the credit. Via philosophy of language, interest in norms invaded sections of philosophy of mind, too, and the previously isolated studies of various types of norms slowly became interconnected, if not directly integrated. No wonder that more and more general studies of the nature of rules and norms are now reaching the light of day. Andrei Marmor's Social Conventions is one of the most recent contributions. Marmor sees a social convention as a specific kind of norm characterized especially by its arbitrariness. More precisely, a rule is conventional, according to the author, iff (i) some people follow it; (ii) they have a reason to follow it; and (iii) there is an alternative rule that they could have followed for the same reason. The point of departure for Marmor's analysis is David Lewis's theory of convention F1F, which, however, he considers too narrow and hence extends it considerably. Lewis's idea is that norms result from certain spontaneous processes by which society reacts to coordination problems.. (shrink)
New Waves in Philosophy, a book collection that stands out for giving a snapshot of research in all areas of philosophy is a successful editorial project addressed by Vincent F. Hendricks and Duncan Pritchard. New Waves in Philosophy of Action is one of its last titles, edited by Jesús H. Aguilar, Andrei A. Buckareff and Keith Frankish. -/- The book is aimed at the researchers of all fields and readers in general interested in this sub-discipline of philosophy very difficult (...) to localize (is it part of a sub-discipline such as metaphysics or maybe part of the philosophy of mind?). What is and how can we know the nature of intentions and its role in action? (shrink)
Abstract. The paper argues for the following points: (1) Marmor's own understanding of "legal positivism" is different from the understanding defended, e.g., by Herbert Hart and Norberto Bobbio, and apparently misleads him into the wrong track of a theoretical inversion; (2) Marmor's two-stages model of (legal) interpretation—the understanding-interpretion model—provides no support for Marmor's own positivistic theory of law; (3) Marmor's concept of interpretation is at odds both with the basic tenets of Hartian and Continental methodological legal positivism, on the one (...) hand, and with the actual practice of legal interpretation in the Western world, on the other hand; (4) Marmor's concept of an easy case is likewise objectionable. (shrink)
Chair: Carl Wellman. There will now be a discussion between the two speakers in which they will take turns, posing questions, isolating issues and talking back and forth. At some point, I will accept questions from the floor.
At the centre of theories of film form is the idea that the montage of different scenes produces cinematic time. Montage creates a conflict between different shots, and time (as a purely functional relationship between shots) arises out of montage as an abstract element.
Machine generated contents note: -- 1. The Value of Vagueness, Timothy Endicott -- 2. Vagueness and the Guidance of Action, Jeremy Waldron -- 3. What Vagueness and Inconsistency tell us about Interpretation, Scott Soames -- 4. Textualism and the Discovery of Rights, John Perry -- 5. The Intentionalism of Textualism, Stephen Neale -- 6. Can the Law Imply More than It Says? On some pragmatic aspects of Strategic Speech, Andrei Marmor -- 7. Modeling Legal Rules, Richard Holton -- 8. (...) Trying to Kill the Dead: De Dicto and De Re Intention in Attempted Crimes, Gideon Yaffe -- 9. Philosophy of Language and the Law of Contracts, Gideon Rosen -- 10. Language and Law: Who's in Charge?, Mark Greenberg -- 11. Meaning and Impact, Nicos Stavropoulos. (shrink)
In this publisher's preface to 'Beobachtungen über den Geist des Menschen und dessen Verhältniß zur Welt' - outstanding, but, despite its merits, so far almost totally unknown philosophical treatise of the late Enlightenment, published in 1790 under a pseudonym 'Andrei Peredumin Koliwanow', I show that the real author of this book was an educator Christlieb Feldstrauch (1734 - 1799).
The case is discussed for the doctrine of hell as posing a unique problem of evil for adherents to the Abrahamic religions who endorse traditional theism. The problem is particularly acute for those who accept retributivist formulations of the doctrine of hell according to which hell is everlasting punishment for failing to satisfy some requirement. Alternatives to retributivism are discussed, including the unique difficulties that each one faces.
Research on the nature of dispositionality or causal power has flourished in recent years in metaphysics. This trend has slowly begun to influence debates in the philosophy of agency, especially in the literature on free will. Both sophisticated versions of agent-‐causalism and the new varieties of dispositionalist compatibilism exploit recently developed accounts of dispositionality in their defense. In this paper, I examine recent work on agent-‐causal power, focusing primarily on the account of agent-‐causalism developed and defended by Timothy O’Connor’s in (...) his work on free will. Assuming the existence of irreducible causal powers, I offer an. (shrink)
On the Causal Theory of Action (CTA), internal proper parts of an agent such as desires and intentions are causally responsible for actions. CTA has increasingly come under attack for its alleged failure to account for agency. A recent version of this criticism due to François Schroeter proposes that CTA cannot provide an adequate account of either the executive control or the autonomous control involved in full-fledged agency. Schroeter offers as an alternative a revised understanding of the proper role of (...) consciousness in agency. In this paper we criticize Schroeter’s analysis of the type of consciousness involved in executive control and examine the way in which the conscious self allegedly intervenes in action. We argue that Schroeter’s proposal should not be preferred over recent versions of CTA. (shrink)
The purpose of this essay is to explore some of the main pragmatic aspects of communication within the legal context. It will be argued that in some crucial respects, the pragmatics of legal language is unique, involving considerations that are not typically present in ordinary conversational contexts. In particular, certain normative considerations that are typically settled in a regular conversational context are unresolved and potentially contentious in the legal case. On the other hand, the essay also argues that a careful (...) distinction between various pragmatic aspects of language use enables us to offer some generalizations about types of pragmatic enrichment that could be taken to form, or not to form, part of what is actually determined by legal expressions. (shrink)
author. University Professor in the School of Law, Columbia University. (From July 2006, Professor of Law, New York University.) Earlier versions of this Essay were presented at the Colloquium in Legal and Social Philosophy at University College London, at a law faculty workshop at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and at a constitutional law conference at Harvard Law School. I am particularly grateful to Ronald Dworkin, Ruth Gavison, and Seana Shiffrin for their formal comments on those occasions and also to (...) James Allan, Aharon Barak, Richard Bellamy, Aileen Cavanagh, Arthur Chaskalson, Michael Dorf, Richard Fallon, Charles Fried, Andrew Geddis, Stephen Guest, Ian Haney-Lopez, Alon Harel, David Heyd, Sam Issacharoff, Elena Kagan, Kenneth Keith, Michael Klarman, John Manning, Andrei Marmor, Frank Michelman, Henry Monaghan, Véronique Munoz-Dardé, John Morley, Matthew Palmer, Richard Pildes, Joseph Raz, Carol Sanger, David Wiggins, and Jo Wolff for their suggestions and criticisms. Hundreds of others have argued with me about this issue over the years: This Essay is dedicated to all of them, collegially and with thanks. (shrink)
We argue that it is most rational for God, given God's character and policies, to adopt an open-door policy towards those in hell – making it possible for those in hell to escape. We argue that such a policy towards the residents of hell should issue from God's character and motivational states. In particular, God's parental love ought to motivate God to extend the provision for reconciliation with Him for an infinite amount of time.
In this paper I will present and evaluate Anandi Hattiangadi’s arguments for the conclusion that meaning is not intrinsically normative or prescriptive. I will argue that she misconstrues the way the thesis that meaning is normative is presented in the literature and that there is an important class of semantic rules that she fails to consider and rule out. According to Hattiangadi, defenders of meaning prescriptivity argue that speaking truthfully is a necessary condition for speaking meaningfully. I will maintain that (...) this is not how prescriptivity is construed by ‘normativists’ such as Kripke, Hacker and Baker, Brandom and Millar. I think that Hattiangadi misconstrues the prescriptivity thesis because she does not distinguish between the general notion of correctness of use and the specific notion of correctness of application. In other words, she does not distinguish between using a term correctly and applying it truthfully. In addition, I submit that there is an important class of semantic rules determining correct use that Hattiangadi does not consider. Following the later Wittgenstein, Hacker and Baker argue that accepted explanations of the meanings of words have the function of semantic rules. These rules are categorically prescriptive because following them is constitutive of being a speaker of a language. (shrink)
This paper argues that the literal meaning of words in a natural language is less conventional than usually assumed. Conventionality is defined in terms that are relative to reasons; norms that are determined by reasons are not conventions. The paper argues that in most cases, the literal meaning of words—as it applies to their definite extension—is not conventional. Conventional variations of meaning are typically present in borderline cases, of what I call the extension-range of literal meaning. Finally, some putative and (...) one or two genuine exceptions are discussed. (shrink)
I examine Galen Strawson's recent work on mental action in his paper, 'Mental Ballistics or The Involuntariness of Spontaneity'. I argue that his account of mental action is too restrictive. I offer a means of testing tokens of mental activity types to determine if they are actional. The upshot is that a good deal more mental activity than Strawson admits is actional.
Nishi Shah has argued that the norm of truth is a prescriptive norm which regulates doxastic deliberation. Also, the acceptance of the norm of truth explains why belief is subject to norms of evidence. Steglich-Petersen pointed out that the norm of truth cannot be prescriptive because it cannot be broken deliberatively. More recently, Pascal Engel suggested that both the norms of truth and evidence are deliberately violated in cases of epistemic akrasia. The akratic agent accepts these norms but in some (...) cases he is not motivated by them. In this paper I will argue that Shah cannot use Engel's suggestion because, given his definition of doxastic deliberation, epistemic akrasia is impossible in the context of deliberation about belief. Furthermore, epistemic akrasia is in conflict with the phenomenon of doxastic transparency that Shah tries to explain. (shrink)
In our paper, ‘Escaping hell: divine motivation and the problem of hell’, we defended a theory of hell that we called ‘escapism’. We argued that given God’s just and loving character it would be most rational for God to maintain an open door policy to those who are in hell, allowing them an unlimited number of chances to be reconciled with God and enjoy communion with God. In this paper we reply to two recent objections to our original paper. The (...) first is an argument from religious luck offered by Rusty Jones. The second is an argument from Kyle Swan that alleges that our commitments about the nature of reasons for action still leaves escapism vulnerable to an objection we labeled the ‘Job objection’ in our original paper. In this paper we argue that escapism has the resources built into it needed to withstand the objections from Jones and Swan. (shrink)
We focus on the recent non-causal theory of reasons explanationsof free action proffered by a proponent of the agency theory, Timothy O'Connor. We argue that the conditions O'Connor offersare neither necessary nor sufficient for a person to act for a reason. Finally, we note that the role O'Connor assigns toreasons in the etiology of actions results in further conceptual difficulties for agent-causalism.
Following the pioneering work of David Lewis, many philosophers believe that the rationale of following a convention consists in the fact that conventions are solutions to recurrent coordination problems. Margaret Gilbert has criticised this view, offering an alternative account of the nature of conventions and their normative aspect. In this paper I argue that Gilbert's criticism of Lewis and her alternative suggestions rest on serious misunderstandings. As between these two opposed views, Lewis's is closer to the truth, but I argue (...) only with respect to one type of convention. There is another, important type of conventions, whose normativity does not consist in the solution of coordination problems. The validity of conventions constituting (what I call) autonomous practices can only be derived from the values inherent in the practices they constitute and those values cannot be specified independently of the conventions themselves. (shrink)