This anthology of essays on the work of David Kaplan, a leading contemporary philosopher of language, sprang from a conference, "Themes from Kaplan," organized by the Center for the Study of Language and Information at Stanford University.
This monograph examines the past, present, and potential relationship between American pragmatism and communication research. The contributors provide a bridge between communication studies and philosophy, subjects often developed somewhat in isolation from each other. Addressing topics, such as qualitative and quantitative research, ethics, media research, and feminist studies, the chapters in this volume: *discuss how a pragmatic, Darwinian approach to inquiry has guided and might further guide communication research; *advocate a functional view of communication, based on Dewey's mature notion of (...) transaction; *articulate a pragmatist's aesthetics and connect it to Deweyan democracy; *discuss the similarities and differences between Dewey's notion of inquiry and the philosophical hermeneutics of Hans-Georg Gadamer; *apply accommodation theory, linked to symbolic interactionism and more generally to the social behaviorism of George H. Mead and his followers, to media research; *interpret media-effects evidence in light of pragmatist ideas about inquiry; and *argue that pragmatism theorizes about despair and life's sense of the tragic. This book is written to be readily accessible to students and professional academics within and outside the field of communication studies without extensive training in specialized areas of communication study. (shrink)
'I never can catch myself at any time without a perception, and never can observe any thing but the perception.' These famous words of David Hume, on his inability to perceive the self, set the stage for JeeLoo Liu and John Perry's collection of essays on self-awareness and self-knowledge. This volume connects recent scientific studies on consciousness with the traditional issues about the self explored by Descartes, Locke and Hume. Experts in the field offer contrasting perspectives on matters (...) such as the relation between consciousness and self-awareness, the notion of personhood and the epistemic access to one's own thoughts, desires or attitudes. The volume will be of interest to philosophers, psychologists, neuroscientists, cognitive scientists and others working on the central topics of consciousness and the self. (shrink)
From a speech given at a conference sponsored by the Electronic Funds Transfer Association (EFTA) on "The Puzzle of Data Security and Consumer Privacy," Washington, DC, 16 November 1992. At that time, Dr. Perry was a Consultant in Advisory Services for the Ethics Resource Center.
Kaplan says that monsters violate Principle 2 of his theory. Principle 2 is that indexicals, pure and demonstrative alike, are directly referential. In providing this explanation of there being no monsters, Kaplan feels his theory has an advantage over double-indexing theories like Kamp’s or Segerberg’s (or Stalnaker’s), which either embrace monsters or avoid them only by ad hoc stipulation, in the sharp conceptual distinction it draws between circumstances of evaluation and contexts of utterance. We shall argue that Kaplan’s prohibition is (...) also essentially stipulative, and that it is too general. The main difference between ourselves and Kaplan is that the basic carriers of a truth-value is a sentence-in-a-context; our account is utterance-based. (shrink)
A caveat: The topic of abortion is both highly controversial and extremely complex, and I certainly cannot hope to address all of its important ethical aspects in the brief notes that follow. Readers are urged to consult a good annotated bibliography such as the one compiled by James DeHullu for references to more extensive scholarly treatments of abortion.
Information is a notion of wide use and great intuitive appeal, and hence, not surprisingly, different formal paradigms claim part of it, from Shannon channel theory to Kolmogorov complexity. Information is also a widely used term in logic, but a similar diversity repeats itself: there are several competing logical accounts of this notion, ranging from semantic to syntactic. In this chapter, we will discuss three major logical accounts of information.
Many people in the animal welfare communityhave argued that the use of nonhuman animals inmedical research is necessarily based onspeciesism, an unjustified prejudice based onspecies membership. As such it is morally akinto racism and sexism. This is misguided. Thecombined capacities for autonomy and sentiencewith the obligations derived from relationssupport a morally justifiable rationale forusing some nonhuman animals in order to limitthe risk of harm to humans. There may be a fewcases where it is morally better to use a neversentient human (...) than a sentient animal, butthese cases are few and would not fulfill thecurrent need for research subjects. The use ofnonautonomous animals instead of humans inrisky research can be based on solid moralground. It is not necessarily speciesism. (shrink)
The fact referred to we call the signal or indicating fact. The thermometer is the carrier, the property of containing mercury that has risen past 98.6 is the indicating property. The proposition that Elwood has a fever is the incremental informational content of the signal. The property of having a fever is the indicated property; Elwood is the subject matter. A signal has incremental content, given a connecting fact and relative to a constraint. 1 In this case, the connecting fact (...) is that the thermometer is in Elwood’s mouth, the connecting relation is that of one thing being in the mouth of another, and the constraint C 1 is. (shrink)
I'll begin by using the concept of a profession. A profession is granted legitimacy and autonomy by society, when society benefits from restricting membership in it to those who satisfy special criteria, which are typically established and regulated internally by members of the profession.
The sources and methods of espionage, the goals and tactics of covert action, and the professional conduct of intelligence officers are matters typically hidden from public scrutiny, yet clearly worthy of public debate and philosophical attention. Recent academic studies of intelligence that have had any intentional bearing on ethics or political philosophy have largely focused on procedural questions surrounding the proper degree of oversight of intelligence agencies. But what is often missed in such examinations is substantive ethical analysis of intelligence (...) operations themselves. (shrink)
Most of us assume that we have a basic right not to be killed. We might not consider that to be an absolute right—since that would entail strict pacifism—but rather what philosophers call a prima facie right.2 For example, we might be said to forfeit our right not to be killed if we commit a particularly heinous crime like aggravated murder. Or we might waive that right if we suffer from a terminal illness and can’t end our own life without (...) assistance from others. And any right that can be forfeited or waived cannot be absolute. But we’re certainly on solid ground in believing that we have to have very serious moral reasons to justify killing people. In the Western just-war tradition, war is thought to be morally acceptable if it can satisfy certain ethical and procedural criteria. But that tradition also regards war as potentially causing so much suffering, death and destruction that leaders must carefully weigh those harms against the goals they hope to achieve through war. Even if one’s country has been seriously harmed, one’s soldiers or other citizens unjustly killed by foreign powers or terrorists, leaders still face significant moral constraints under just-war criteria on what they may do in response. Having just cause to go to war, for example, does not permit one to wage total war. (shrink)
Helga Kuhse's recent book, Caring: Nurses, Women and Ethics (Maldon, MA: Blackwell, 1997; 296+xii pp.), is a welcome contribution to the literature in nursing and medical ethics. The author provides an enlightening historical account of nurses' subservience to physicians, which even today discourages nurses from exercising independent ethical judgment. She offers a clear-headed analysis of the moral quandaries facing nurses when ordered by physicians to act in ways detrimental to patients' interests. And, centrally, she engages in a penetrating examination of (...) the "ethics of care," exposing a number of serious conceptual mistakes on the part of its proponents, and criticizing ways in which it has been appropriated uncritically by many contemporary writers in nursing ethics. (shrink)
Brutus wanted to kill Caesar. He believed that Caesar was an ordinary mortal, and that, given this, stabbing him (by which we mean plunging a knife into his heart) was a way of killing him. He thought that he could stab Caesar, for he remembered that he had a knife and saw that Caesar was standing next to him on his left, in the Forum. So Brutus was motivated to stab the man to his left. He did so, thereby killing (...) Caesar. We have explained Brutus’s act by citing a complex of beliefs, desires and perceptions that motivated it. Our explanation provides a causal account of Brutus’s act. The beliefs, desires and perceptions in such a motivating complex are particular cognitions. The act was also a particular, an event that occurred at a certain place and time. The cognitions caused the act.1 Our explanation also provides a rationale for Brutus’s act. The beliefs, desires and perceptions of Brutus’s that we cite had contents. The desire we cited had the content that Brutus kill Caesar. The ﬁrst belief we cited had the content that Caesar was an ordinary mortal. The act was of a certain type. The explanation provides a rationale because the contents of the cognitions mesh in a certain way with one another and with the type of the act. It was the type of act that would satisfy Brutus’s desire to kill 1 Caesar, if the beliefs we cited were true. If the person next to him is Caesar, and Caesar is mortal, and stabbing is a way of killing the mortal next to one, then an act of that type will satisfy Brutus’s desire. The beliefs in the motivating complex “close the gap” between the type of act motivated and the motivating desire. (shrink)
The ability to keep someone alive by replacing one or more of their major organs is an astounding achievement of 20th-century medicine. Unfortunately, the current supply of transplant organs is much lower than the need or demand for them, which means that thousands of people die every year in the U.S. alone for lack of a replacement organ.
An introduction to ethical reasoning -- Comparative religious perspectives on war -- Just and unjust war in Shakespeare's Henry V -- Anticipating and preventing atrocities in war -- The CIA's original "social contract" -- The KGB: CIA's traditional adversary -- Espionage -- Covert action -- Interrogation -- Concluding reflections.
Kasher and Yadlin make significant contributions to the literature on counter-terrorism, (1) in their fine-tuned distinctions among degrees of individual involvement in terrorist activities, and (2) in weighing (a) obligations to minimize harm to one's own noncombatants and combatants against (b) the duty to limit harm to non-citizen noncombatants. But the authors? analysis is hampered by some ambiguous definitions, some unwieldy terms, and some questionable moral assumptions and arguments.
In recent months, the President and other members of his administration have openly declared their desire and intent to achieve "regime change" in Iraq. And since previous methods of ousting Saddam Hussein--economic sanctions and coups d'etat --have obviously failed, the President is seriously considering even more dramatic options, including full-scale military invasion. How should we evaluate that proposal? There are a number of important ethical questions that we must address before waging war.
Strict pacifists say that killing is always wrong. Jewish and Christian pacifists often appeal to the claim in Genesis that all people are made in the image of God, suggesting that killing them represents a kind of sacrilege as well as a violation of human dignity. Christian pacifists also refer to sayings of Jesus in the Gospels to love one's enemies and not retaliate against force with force. Hindu and Buddhist pacifists would cite their basic obligation of ahimsa, avoiding harm (...) to any sentient creature. And nonreligious pacifists often say that violence only begets more violence. (See my "Ethics and War in Comparative Religious Perspective."). (shrink)
According to the United Network for Organ Sharing http://www.unos.org), over 4,100 Americans are currently candidates for heart transplants, meaning that they desperately need them, they satisfy the criteria for "medical utility" (i.e., a transplant will probably keep them alive), and they have adequate insurance or other funding to cover their cost. Unfortunately the supply of hearts in this country doesn't even come close to meeting the demand: only 2,202 heart transplants were performed last year. Thus, every day some Americans die (...) waiting for new hearts. (shrink)
As Lee Silver points out in his book, Remaking Eden , our ability to alter the human genome does indicate that we'll have to rethink the meaning of "human being." But it also suggests that the issue is unlikely to be "resolved" cleanly, but will instead be subject to ongoing revision.
The word "ethics" is often used as a synonym for morality or values or ideals. But ethics is also sometimes defined as critical reflection on moral claims and moral beliefs, which themselves pertain to ideas about right and wrong conduct, good and bad motives and intentions, and so on. The scope of ethics is therefore enormous, and the problems and dilemmas theoretically subject to ethical scrutiny are endlessly varied and fascinating. This is no less the case in medicine; it often (...) seems that a new ethical issue arises every time there is a breakthrough in medical technology that gives us powers we didn't have before. (shrink)
In this essay I intend to highlight a wide range of ethical views on killing and war in the world's major religious traditions. I've found that one can learn a lot about a tradition by paying attention to how it answers the question, Is it ever right to kill? What we find when we survey world religions are teachings that are at least paradoxical, and in some cases downright contradictory. Every major religious tradition regards life and especially human life as (...) sacred in some sense, and affirms mercy and compassion as basic human obligations. But influential religious authorities have also taught that it's sometimes right to kill other human beings. Some have gone so far as to rationalize wars of annihilation against heretics and infidels. (shrink)
One of the hottest topics in business today is competitive intelligence, the effort by a company to obtain enough information about its competitors to give it a strategic edge over them in the marketplace. During the past decade, a number of books have been written in this country advising business managers on how to mine various sources of public information for this purpose: trade shows, public speeches by company executives, articles in obscure journals, and government agencies like the Food (...) and Drug Administration (1). Some large companies have even hired former FBI and CIA personnel to help them develop more effective in-house intelligence-gathering capabilities (2). (shrink)
Matthew Walker's article has prompted us to consider neuropsychiatric disorders and pharmacological effects associated with sleep alterations, and aspects of memory affected. Not all disorders involving insomnia show memory impairment, and hypersomnias can be associated with memory deficits. The use of cholinergic medication in dementia indicates that consideration of the link between sleep and memory is more than academic.
Though we agree with their argument that language is shaped by domain-general learning processes, Christiansen & Chater (C&C) neglect to detail how the development of these processes shapes language change. We discuss a number of examples that show how developmental processes at multiple levels and timescales are critical to understanding the origin of domain-general mechanisms that shape language evolution.
It has been persuasively argued by David Kaplan and others that the proposition expressed by statements like (1) is a singular proposition, true in just those worlds in which a certain person, David Israel, is a computer scientist. Call this proposition P . The truth of this proposition does not require that the utterance (1) occur, or even that Israel has ever said anything at all. Marcus, Donnellan, Kripke and others have persuasively argued for a view of proper (...) names that, put in Kaplan’s terms and applied to this example, implies that the proposition expressed by (2) is also simply P .1 The thesis that expressions of a certain category (names, indexicals, demonstratives, pronouns, descriptions, etc.) are referential 2holds that these expressions contribute the object to which they refer, rather than a mode of presentation of that object, to the propositions expressed by statements containing them. The thesis that indexicals and names are referential creates the challenge of explaining the difference in cognitive signiﬁcance between statements like (1) and (2), that express the same proposition[Wettstein, 1986]. The problem has two parts, which.. (shrink)
My aim in this study is not to praise Fischer's fine theory of moral responsibility, but to (try to) bury the "semi" in "semicompatibilism". I think Fischer gives the Consequence Argument (CA) too much credit, and gives himself too little credit. In his book, The Metaphysics of Free Will, Fischer gave the CA as good a statement as it will ever get, and put his finger on what is wrong with it. Then he declared stalemate rather than victory. In my (...) view, Fischer's view amounts to sophisticated compatibilism. It would be nice to be able to call it by its right name. In The Metaphysics of Free Will, Fischer develops his own version of Consequence Argument, which turns on two principles, one of which is the fixity of the past. FP: For any action K, agent S and time i, if it is true that is S were to do Y at t, some fact about that past relative to t would not have been a fact, then S cannot at t do Fat 1. 1 argue that the equipment needed to reject FP (and thereby defend the most plausible version of compatibilism) is needed to deal with the problem of fatalism. In addition, I argue that the rejection of FP is compatible with Fischer's approach to Frankfurt cases and with his account of transfer principles. (shrink)
Epistemic modal predicate logic raises conceptual problems not faced in the case of alethic modal predicate logic: Frege’s “Hesperus-Phosphorus” problem—how to make sense of ascribing to agents ignorance of necessarily true identity statements—and the related “Hintikka-Kripke” problem—how to set up a logical system combining epistemic and alethic modalities, as well as others problems, such as Quine’s “Double Vision” problem and problems of self-knowledge. In this paper, we lay out a philosophical approach to epistemic predicate logic, implemented formally in Melvin Fitting’s (...) First-Order Intensional Logic, that we argue solves these and other conceptual problems. Topics covered include: Quine on the “collapse” of modal distinctions; the rigidity of names; belief reports and unarticulated constituents; epistemic roles; counterfactual attitudes; representational vs. interpretational semantics; ignorance of co-reference vs. ignorance of identity; two-dimensional epistemic models; quantification into epistemic contexts; and an approach to multi-agent epistemic logic based on centered worlds and hybrid logic. (shrink)
This paper1 is the ﬁrst in a series of two, in which we (i) explore some aspects of heterogeneous systems of representation and communication2 (ii) show how American Sign Language (ASL) exhibits some of those features; (iii) draw some morals for the design of interfaces. This paper explores (i) at some length and ends with a brief look at (ii). Heterogeneous systems of representation and communication are systems that combine representations whose meanings work on different principles, such as pictures and (...) words. (We will try to reserve the word “language” for natural languages, like English and American Sign Language (ASL), and not use it for just any system of structured representations.) This talk reﬂects work that we have been doing in collaboration with Cathy Haas of the Archimedes Project at CSLI and Bill Stokoe of Gallaudet University, having to do with richly grounded meaning in ASL. Richly grounded meaning or RGM is a generalization of what Peirce called “iconicity”; the symbol and what it symbolizes are naturally rather than arbitrarily connected.3 The key word here is “arbitrary”; probably most RGM symbols are conventional in the sense developed by David Lewis in Convention (), but there is a natural connection between the symbol and what it symbolizes. The traditional word instead of “natural” might be “resemblance”. We emphasize that what is in question is something psychological; a robust cognitive correspondence between properties of a symbol (which must have enough interesting properties to ground such a relation, hence “richly grounded”) and properties of that which is symbolized. Resemblance is too restrictive. There are. (shrink)
Review Jopling's discussion is carried on with remarkable clarity. His presentation of the diverse philosophical positions is balanced and fair. . . . Self-Knowledge and the Self is a work of excellent, sound scholarship, a most significant contribution. Hazel Barnes, author of Sartre and Flaubert Jopling's book is the most sustained and serious contemporary philosophical reflection on the Delphic injunction Know thyself of which I am aware. Drawing on literature and psychotherapy as well as solid argumentation, it gently but persuasively (...) exposes inadequacies in the individualistic theories of Hampshire, Sartre, and Rorty and sketches the advantages of a more dialogic approach. Ideally, readers should come away not only knowing what it means to know oneself, but also, in some respects, actually knowing themselves better!. William L. McBride, author of Social and Political Philosophy In this impressive survey, Jopling not only provides incisive critiques of the major contemporary theories of self-knowledge but also introduces a significant alternative approach, one that stresses the role of dialogue and communication. Ulric Neisser, editor of the Author David A. Jopling is Associate Professor of Philosophy at York University in Toronto. (shrink)