Philosophical logicians proposing theories of rational belief revision have had little to say about whether their proposals assist or impede the agent's ability to reliably arrive at the truth as his beliefs change through time. On the other hand, reliability is the central concern of formal learning theory. In this paper we investigate the belief revision theory of Alchourron, Gardenfors and Makinson from a learning theoretic point of view.
We argue that uncomputability and classical scepticism are both re ections of inductive underdetermination, so that Church's thesis and Hume's problem ought to receive equal emphasis in a balanced approach to the philosophy of induction. As an illustration of such an approach, we investigate how uncomputable the predictions of a hypothesis can be if the hypothesis is to be reliably investigated by a computable scienti c method.
Hermann Cohen’s early interpretation of Kant’s theory of freedom anticipates contemporary interpretations in denying that freedom signifies a literal metaphysical power. Cohen would have been critical, however, of the view popular among contemporary Kantians that the concept of autonomy can be justified by a direct appeal to the standpoint of the one who exercises and evaluates conscious moral choices. Cohen rejects Kant’s own strategy of appealing to the moral law as a “revelation” of freedom, undertaking a strictly transcendental derivation of (...) both freedom and morality. Cohen’s own attempt to ground freedom and morality in a set of purely transcendental refl ections is a failure, but understanding the reasons for this failure enables us to draw important conclusions about the alleged priority of the value of autonomy in the normative domain, and hence about the contemporary viability of Kantian positions in the field of ethics. (shrink)
Through discussion of phenomenological and analytic traditions such as the philosophical problems of perceptual content, the content of demonstrative thoughts and the unity of proposition, Kelly explains that these concepts are not as alien to one another as most people believe.
Although philosophers have characteristically taken the view that art is a vehicle of some universal meaning or truth, art historians emphasize the concrete, historical location of the individual work of art. Is aesthetics capable of sustaining these two approaches? Or, as Michael Kelly argues: Is art actually determined by its historical particularity? His book covers the views of four philosophers--Heidegger, Adorno, Derrida, and Danto--ultimately iconoclasts, despite their significant philosophical engagement with the arts.
Philosophy of science, statistics, and machine learning all recommend the selection of simple theories or models on the basis of empirical data, where simplicity has something to do with minimizing independent entities, principles, causes, or equational coefficients. This intuitive preference for simplicity is called Ockham's razor, after the fourteenth century theologian and logician William of Ockham. But in spite of its intuitive appeal, how could Ockham's razor help one find the true theory? For, in an updated version of Plato's Meno (...) paradox, if we already know that the truth is simple, we don't need Ockham's help. And if we don't already know that the truth is simple, what entitles us to assume that it is? (shrink)
Fitz-Herbert, John; Kelly, Gerard The 'pastoral care of the sick' is one of the important responses to the gospel that occurs in almost every parish. Faithful Sunday parishioners visit other parishioners week-in and week-out. They put into deed the concern of the believing community for the one who is unable to gather with the Sunday community for eucharist. They bring holy communion as well as friendship and their pastoral concern to the person being visited. Sometimes it happens that this (...) may be the only visitor the one who is housebound welcomes into their home during the week. A truly terrifying thought in this age that proclaims to value connectedness and being linked into one or more networks! (shrink)
Drawing extensively on Bentham's unpublished civil and distributive law writings, classical and recent Bentham scholarship, and contemporary work in moral and political philosophy, Kelly here presents the first full-length exposition and sympathetic defense of Bentham's unique utilitarian theory of justice. Kelly shows how Bentham developed a moderate welfare-state liberal theory of justice with egalitarian leanings, the aim of which was to secure the material and political conditions of each citizen's pursuit of the good life in cooperation with each (...) other. A striking and original addition to the growing literature on Bentham's legal and political thought, this incisive study also makes a valuable contribution to contemporary political philosophy. (shrink)
The passage above comes from the opening pages of Merleau-Ponty’s essay on Edmund Husserl. It proposes a risky interpretive principle. The main feature of this principle is that the seminal aspects of a thinker’s work are so close to him that he is incapable of articulating them himself. Nevertheless, these aspects pervade the work, give it its style, its sense and its direction, and therefore belong to it essentially. As Martin Heidegger writes, in a passage quoted by Merleau-Ponty:
The (...) greater the work of a thinker – which in no way coincides with the breadth and number of writings – the richer is what is un-thought in this work, which means, that which emerges in and through this work as having not yet been thought.2
The goal of Merleau-Ponty’s essay, he says, is “to evoke this un-thought-of element in Husserl’s thought”.3. (shrink)
There you are at the opera house. The soprano has just hit her high note – a glassshattering high C that fills the hall – and she holds it. She holds it. She holds it. She holds it. She holds it. She holds the note for such a long time that after a while a funny thing happens: you no longer seem only to hear it, the note as it is currently sounding, that glass-shattering high C that is loud and (...) high and pure. In addition, you also seem to hear something more. It is difficult to express precisely what this extra feature is. One is tempted to say, however, that the note now sounds like it has been going on for a very long time. Perhaps it even sounds like a note that has been going on for too long. In any event, what you hear no longer seems to be limited to the pitch, timbre, loudness, and other strictly audible qualities of the note. You seem in addition to experience, even to hear, something about its temporal extent. (shrink)
I begin by examining a recent debate between John McDowell and Christopher Peacocke over whether the content of perceptual experience is non-conceptual. Although I am sympathetic to Peacocke's claim that perceptual content is non-conceptual, I suggest a number of ways in which his arguments fail to make that case. This failure stems from an over-emphasis on the "fine-grainedness" of perceptual content - a feature that is relatively unimportant to its non-conceptual structure. I go on to describe two other features of (...) perceptual experience that are more likely to be relevant to the claim that perceptual content is non-conceptual. These features are 1) the dependence of a perceived object on the perceptual context in which it is perceived and 2) the dependence of a perceived property on the object it is perceived to be a property of. (shrink)
Both cognitive science and phenomenology accept the primacy of the organism-environment system and recognize that cognition should be understood in terms of an embodied agent situated in its environment. How embodiment is seen to shape our world, however, is fundamentally different in these two disciplines. Embodiment, as understood in cognitive science, reduces to a discussion of the consequences of having a body like ours interacting with our environment and the relationship is one of contingent causality. Embodiment, as understood phenomenologically, represents (...) the condition of intelligibility of certain terms in our experience and, as such, refers to one aspect of that background which presupposes our understanding of the world. The goals and approach to modeling an embodied agent in its environment are also fundamentally different dependent on which relationship is addressed. These differences are highlighted and are used to support our phenomenologically based approach to organism-environment interaction and its relationship to brain function. (shrink)
We argue that heterophenomenology both over- and under-populates the intentional realm. For example, when one is involved in coping, one’s mind does not contain beliefs. Since the heterophenomenologist interprets all intentional commitment as belief, he necessarily overgenerates the belief contents of the mind. Since beliefs cannot capture the normative aspect of coping and perceiving, any method, such as heterophenomenology, that allows for only beliefs is guaranteed not only to overgenerate beliefs but also to undergenerate other kinds of intentional phenomena.
I am very much in sympathy with the overall approach of John Campbell’s paper, “Reference as Attention”. My sympathy extends to a variety of its features. I think he is right to suppose, for instance, that neuropsychological cases provide important clues about how we should treat some traditional philosophical problems concerning perception and reference. I also think he is right to suppose that there are subtle but important relations between the phenomena of perception, action, consciousness, attention, and reference. I even (...) think that there is probably something importantly right about the main claim of the paper. I take this to be the claim that there is a tight connection – of some sort at any rate – between our capacity to refer demonstratively to perceptually presented objects and our capacity to attend to those objects in our conscious awareness of them. What precisely this connection consists in, however, remains a mystery to me. My goal in these comments is to clarify this result. I will begin, in section 2, with a fairly general statement of the problem I take Campbell to have set himself. Following this, in section 3, I will focus more particularly on what kind of relation Campbell takes to exist, or does exist, or perhaps could exist between attention and demonstrative reference. I examine four options, the first three of which seem to admit of clear counterexamples, and the fourth of which is too weak to be of any real interest. (shrink)
In this paper, I explore the question of whether the expected consequences of holding a belief can affect the rationality of doing so. Special attention is given to various ways in which one might attempt to exert some measure of control over what one believes and the normative status of the beliefs that result from the successful execution of such projects. I argue that the lessons which emerge from thinking about the case ofbelief have important implications for the way we (...) should think about the rationality of a number of other propositional attitudes,such as regret, desire, and fear. Finally,I suggest that a lack of clarity with respect to the relevant issues has given rise to a number of rather serious philosophical mistakes. (shrink)
Abstract: Many astrologers attribute a successful birth-chart reading to what they call intuition or psychic ability,where the birth chart acts like a crystal ball. As in shamanism,they relate consciousness to a transcendent reality that,if true, might require are-assessment of present biological theories of consciousness.In Western countries roughly 1 person in 10,000 is practising or seriously studying astrology, so their total number is substantial. Many tests of astrologers have been made since the 1950s but only recently has a coherent review been (...) possible. A large-scale test of persons born less than five minutes apart found no hint of the similarities predicted by astrology. Meta-analysis of more than forty controlled studies suggests that astrologers are unable to perform significantly better than chance even on the more basic tasks such as predicting extraversion. More specifically,astrologers who claim to use psychic ability perform no better than those who do not. The possibility that astrology might be relevant to consciousness and psi is not denied, but such influences, if they exist in astrology,would seem to be very weak or very rare. -/- . (shrink)
Those familiar with contemporary continental philosophy know well the defenses Husserlians have offered of Husserl’s theory of inner time-consciousness against post-modernism’s deconstructive criticisms. As post-modernism gives way to Deleuzean post-structuralism, Deleuze’s Le bergsonisme has grown into the movement of Bergsonism. This movement, designed to present an alternative to phenomenology, challenges Husserlian phenomenology by criticizing the most “important… of all phenomenological problems.” Arguing that Husserl’s theory of time-consciousness detailed a linear succession of iterable instants in which the now internal to consciousness (...) receives prejudicial favor, Bergsonism concludes that Husserl derived the past from the present and cannot account for the sense of the past, which differs in kind from the present. Consequently, everything on Husserl’s account remains present and his theory cannot accommodate for time’s passage. In this paper, I renew the Husserlian defense of Husserl’s theory of time-consciousness in response to the recent movement of Deleuzean Bergsonism. Section one presents Bergsonism’s notion of the past in general and its critique of Husserl’s theory of time-consciousness. Section two presents a rejoinder to Bergsonism’s critique of Husserl, questioning (1) its understanding of the living-present as linearly extended, (2) its conflation of the living-present with Husserl’s early schema-apprehension interpretation, and (3) its failure to grasp Husserl’s revised understanding of primary memory as a result of (2). In conclusion, I suggest that Husserl’s theory of retention might articulate a notion of the past more consistent with Bergson than Bergsonism itself. (shrink)
The work of Alan Cowey and Petra Stoerig is often taken to have shown that, following lesions analogous to those that cause blindsight in humans, there is blindsight in monkeys. The present paper reveals a problem in Cowey and Stoerig's case for blindsight in monkeys. The problem is that Cowey and Stoerig's results would only provide good evidence for blindsight if there is no difference between their two experimental paradigms with regard to the sorts of stimuli that are likely to (...) come to consciousness. We show that the paradigms could differ in this respect, given the connections that have been shown to exist between working memory, perceptual load, attention, and consciousness. (shrink)
Current cognitive science models of perception and action assume that the objects that we move toward and perceive are represented as determinate in our experience of them. A proper phenomenology of perception and action, however, shows that we experience objects indeterminately when we are perceiving them or moving toward them. This indeterminacy, as it relates to simple movement and perception, is captured in the proposed phenomenologically based recurrent network models of brain function. These models provide a possible foundation from which (...) predicative structures may arise as an emergent phenomenon without the positing of a representing subject. These models go some way in addressing the dual constraints of phenomenological accuracy and neurophysiological plausibility that ought to guide all projects devoted to discovering the physical basis of human experience. (shrink)
According to one view about the rationality of belief, such rationality is ultimately nothing other than the rationality that one exhibits in taking the means to one’s ends. On this view, epistemic rationality is really a species or special case of instrumental rationality. In particular, epistemic rationality is instrumental rationality in the service of one’s distinctively cognitive or epistemic goals (perhaps: one’s goal of holding true rather than false beliefs). In my (2003), I dubbed this view the instrumentalist conception of (...) epistemic rationality. (shrink)
One of the crucial intellectual and social challenges facing corporation leaders is to foster a new way of thinking about business and society which recognizes the multinational corporation as a key player in society's responsibility to support and maintain fairness in the global reorganization of markets. In order to establish a sound global social economy, we are in need of the organizing and directing principles of solidarity and subsidiarity. Both of these principles speak to the need of transforming our public (...) and private institutions in such a way that all persons are placed in positions whereby they can share in the benefits of the newly-formed global economy. (shrink)
Many recent attacks on consequentialism and several defenses of pluralism have relied on arguments for the incommensurability of value. Such arguments have, generally, turned on empirical appeals to aspects of our everyday experience of value conflict. My intention, largely, is to bypass these arguments and turn instead to a discussion of the conceptual apparatus needed to make the claim that values are incommensurable. After delineating what it would mean for values to be incommensurable, I give an a priori argument that (...) such is impossible. It is widely accepted that value is conceptually tied to desire. I argue that, more specifically, it is proportional to merited desire strength. This connection gives one a metric of all value if there is any such thing. This metric entails that value is a complete ordering over all states of affairs, or, in other words, that value is commensurable. (shrink)
 In _What Computers Can't Do_ (1972), Hubert Dreyfus identified several basic assumptions about the nature of human knowledge which grounded contemporary research in cognitive science. Contemporary artificial intelligence, he argued, relied on an unjustified belief that the mind functions like a digital computer using symbolic manipulations ("the psychological assumption") (Dreyfus 1992: 163ff), or at least that computer programs could be understood as formalizing human thought ("the epistemological assumption") (Dreyfus 1992: 189). In addition, the project depended upon an assumption about (...) the data about the human world which we employ in thought - namely, that it consists of discrete, determinate, and explicit pieces which can be processed heuristically ("the ontological assumption") (Dreyfus 1992: 206). (shrink)
1. The philosophical problem of what we see My topic revolves around what is apparently a very basic question. Stripped of all additions and in its leanest, most economical form, this is the question: "What do we see?" But in this most basic form the question admits of at least three different interpretations. In the first place, one might understand it to be an epistemological question, perhaps one with skeptical overtones. "What do we see?", on this reading, is short for (...) something like "What things in the world are we justified in believing we see, given the possibility of evil demon scenarios and all the other impedimenta to genuine sight that have become the working tools of epistemologists over the last 350 years?" I shall not be concerned with the question in this skeptical sense. I intend the parenthetical addition to the question, "What do we see (when we do)?", along with the bald-faced assumption that the condition so specified at least sometimes obtains, to rule out discussion along these sorts of epistemological lines, at least for the purposes of this paper. Whether or not this condition in fact obtains, of course, will not effect the position I'm defending. (shrink)
Scientific methods may be viewed as procedures for converging to the true answer to a given empirical question. Typically, such methods converge to the truth only if certain empirical presuppositions are satisfied, which raises the question whether the presuppositions are satisfied. Another scientific method can be applied to this empirical question, and so forth, occasioning an empirical regress. So there is an obvious question about the point of such a regress. This paper explains how to assess the methodological worth of (...) a methodological regress by solving for the strongest sense of single-method performance that can be achieved given that such a regress exists. Several types of regresses are. (shrink)
One construal of convergent realism is that for each clear question, scientific inquiry eventually answers it. In this paper we adapt the techniques of formal learning theory to determine in a precise manner the circumstances under which this ideal is achievable. In particular, we define two criteria of convergence to the truth on the basis of evidence. The first, which we call EA convergence, demands that the theorist converge to the complete truth "all at once". The second, which we call (...) AE convergence, demands only that for every sentence in the theorist's language, there is a time at which the theorist settles the status of the sentence. The relative difficulties of these criteria are compared for effective and ineffective agents. We then examine in detail how the enrichment of an agent's hypothesis language makes the task of converging to the truth more difficult. In particular, we parametrize first-order languages by predicate and function symbol arity, presence or absence of identity, and quantifier prefix complexity. For nearly each choice of values of these parameters, we determine the senses in which effective and ineffective agents can converge to the complete truth on an arbitrary structure for the language. Finally, we sketch directions in which our learning theoretic setting can be generalized or made more realistic. (shrink)
I propose that empirical procedures, like computational procedures, are justified in terms of truth-finding efficiency. I contrast the idea with more standard philosophies of science and illustrate it by deriving Ockham's razor from the aim of minimizing dramatic changes of opinion en route to the truth.
Although John Stuart Mill places considerable emphasis on three information signalling devices – debate, votes and prices – he remains curiously sceptical about the prospects of institutional or social epistemology. In this paper, I explore Mill's modest scepticism about institutional epistemolog y and compare and contrast that with the attitudes of liberal theorists such as F. A. Hayek and John Dewey who are much more enthusiastic about the prospects of social epistemology as part of their defences of liberalism. The paper (...) examines the extent to which Hayek and Dewey ignore concerns originally raised by Mill. I conclude that Mill's modest scepticism is reflected in the epistemological abstinence of contemporary liberal philosophers such as John Rawls, and that his elevation of philosophy over democracy remains a challenge to contemporary defenders of the political value of social or institutional epistemology. (shrink)
Those who favor externalist accounts of knowledge and justification often accuse their internalist opponents of playing into the hands of skeptic. According to this line of thought, internalists characteristically set overly demanding requirements for knowledge and justification, requirements which ordinary believers infrequently satisfy: the internalist is thus committed by his or her own theory to a massive and implausible revisionism about the extent of what we know and justifiably believe. For reasons that I explore, the version of internalist foundationalism developed (...) by BonJour might seem particularly vulnerable to this charge. Given this, one of the most striking and provocative claims of the present work is BonJour's insistence that his theory fares no worse than--and indeed, compares favorably with--Sosa's externalist virtue theory with respect to the issue of skepticism. My primary concern in this short paper is to evaluate BonJour's claim. (shrink)
This paper places formal learning theory in a broader philosophical context and provides a glimpse of what the philosophy of induction looks like from a learning-theoretic point of view. Formal learning theory is compared with other standard approaches to the philosophy of induction. Thereafter, we present some results and examples indicating its unique character and philosophical interest, with special attention to its unified perspective on inductive uncertainty and uncomputability.
The consistent sentencing of white collar criminals does not exist in today's judicial system. Guidelines for sentencing individuals and corporations have already been developed by the U.S. Sentencing Commission but have not yet been implemented in the courts. Pros and cons of the guidelines are given, as is the extent and form of sentencing deemed appropriate for the individual or corporation. The activities of the sentencing commission are depicted by a timeline.
Over the past few decades the pace of change in the business environment has been rapid, as the effects of electronic innovations and the acceptance of the globalisation mind-set have occurred. Communism has collapsed and the power of corporations has grown in the global community that has developed. It has become imperative that business decision-makers become aware that their decisions may limit the choices of future generations by irretrievably destroying the currently existing physical and social environment. Decision-making in today's business (...) environment will have a profound affect on human well-being in general and specifically on the breadth of options that are provided to the business decision-makers of tomorrow. Against this background it is argued that senior managers should adopt a new paradigm through which to view the world and assess the import of their decisions. Managers need to consider the effects of their decisions not only on the economy but also on the environment and the social world, which the economy is meant to serve. Managers must ensure their ways of doing business are sustainable. (shrink)
Managerial reasoning is characteristic of a care-relationship ethics:1. If a corporation provides certain community values to corporate members not reducible to their self-interested economic or professional objectives; 2. If such values are generated by a division of labor based on interdependence, reciprocity and concern for another's self-realization; 3. If it's based on promoting an ethical corporate self independent of its economic value. Such an ethic is appropriate, given employees' tremendous personal contributions, the unique position of private industry to provide distinctive (...) resources without committing extensive social resources, and due to its potential for reducing managerial moral fragmentation and hypocrisy. (shrink)
Convergent realists desire scientific methods that converge reliably to informative, true theories over a wide range of theoretical possibilities. Much attention has been paid to the problem of induction from quantifier-free data. In this paper, we employ the techniques of formal learning theory and model theory to explore the reliable inference of theories from data containing alternating quantifiers. We obtain a hierarchy of inductive problems depending on the quantifier prefix complexity of the formulas that constitute the data, and we provide (...) bounds relating the quantifier prefix complexity of the data to the quantifier prefix complexity of the theories that can be reliably inferred from such data without background knowledge. We also examine the question whether there are theories with mixed quantifiers that can be reliably inferred with closed, universal formulas in the data, but not without. (shrink)
There is renewed interest in the logic of discovery as well as in the position that there is no reason for philosophers to bother with it. This essay shows that the traditional, philosophical arguments for the latter position are bankrupt. Moreover, no interesting defense of the philosophical irrelevance or impossibility of the logic of discovery can be formulated or defended in isolation from computation-theoretic considerations.
the world. 1 Whereas the content of our beliefs, thoughts, and judgements necessarily involves "conceptualization" or "concept application", the content of our perceptual experiences is, according to Evans, "non-conceptual". Because Evans takes it for granted that we are often able to entertain thoughts about an object in virtue of having perceived it, a central problem in.
The title of Andy Clark's book is, among other things, a reference to one of the central terms in Martin Heidegger's early work: "Dasein" (being there) is the word that Heidegger uses to refer to beings like ourselves. Clark is no Heidegger scholar, but the reference is deliberate; among the predecessors to his book he lists not only Heidegger himself, but also the American Heidegger scholar Hubert Dreyfus and the French Heideggerean phenomenologist Maurice Merleau-Ponty. This triumvirate has played an increasingly (...) important role in recent years among the "alternative" cognitive science set, owing largely to the influence of Dreyfus's 1979 book What Computers Can't Do (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1979), which enlisted Heideggerian and Merleau-Pontean arguments in the fight against classical symbolic processing approaches to artificial intelligence. Clark's book fits squarely in this "alternative" tradition, and it is an important contribution to the existing literature. It surveys a large array of results in cognitive scientifically oriented fields ranging from robotics to developmental psychology, and it argues convincingly that these results should encourage us to embrace a radical new research paradigm in the cognitive sciences. The central claim is that mainstream cognitive scientists should, like their more revolutionary colleagues, learn to substitute for "the disembodied, atemporal intellectualist vision of mind ... the image of mind as a controller of embodied action" (p. 7). As a clear and brightly written account of this alternative movement in cognitive science, and perhaps even as a kind of mission statement for the new paradigm, Clark's book is one of the finest I have read. It is limited, however, by the fact that the interesting and well-described empirical work that forms the center of his presentation does not always provide sufficient resources for addressing the equally important philosophical problems lurking. (shrink)
Book Symposium on Don Ihde’s Expanding Hermeneutics: Visualism in Science Content Type Journal Article Category Book Symposium Pages 1-22 DOI 10.1007/s13347-011-0060-5 Authors Jan Kyrre Berg Olsen Friis, University of Copenhagen, Nørre Farimagsgade 5 A, Room 10.0.27, 1014 Copenhagen, Denmark Larry A. Hickman, The Center for Dewey Studies, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Carbondale, IL 62901, USA Robert Rosenberger, School of Public Policy, Georgia Institute of Technology, DM Smith Building, 685 Cherry Street, Atlanta, GA 30332-0345, USA Robert C. Scharff, University of New (...) Hampshire, Durham, NH 03824-3574, USA Don Ihde, Stony Brook University, Harriman Hall 221, Stony Brook, NY 11794-3750, USA Journal Philosophy & Technology Online ISSN 2210-5441 Print ISSN 2210-5433. (shrink)
You’re imagining, in the course of a different game of make-believe, that you’re a bank robber. You don’t believe that you’re a bank robber. You are moved to point your finger, gun-wise, at the person pretending to be the bank teller and say, “Stick ‘em up! This is a robbery!”.
This paper takes on several distinct but related tasks. First, I present and discuss what I will call the “Ignorance Thesis,” which states that whenever an agent acts from ignorance, whether factual or moral, she is culpable for the act only if she is culpable for the ignorance from which she acts. Second, I offer a counterexample to the Ignorance Thesis, an example that applies most directly to the part I call the “Moral Ignorance Thesis.” Third, I argue for a (...) principle—Don’t Know, Don’t Kill—that supports the view that the purported counterexample actually is a counterexample. Finally, I suggest that my arguments in this direction can supply a novel sort of argument against many instances of killing and eating certain sorts of animals. (shrink)
Internalism about a person's good is roughly the view that in order for something to intrinsically enhance a person's well-being, that person must be capable of caring about that thing. I argue in this paper that internalism about a person's good should not be believed. Though many philosophers accept the view, Connie Rosati provides the most comprehensive case in favor of it. Her defense of the view consists mainly in offering five independent arguments to think that at least some form (...) of internalism about one's good is true. But I argue that, on closer inspection, not one of these arguments succeeds. The problems don't end there, however. While Rosati offers good reasons to think that what she calls 'two-tier internalism' would be the best way to formulate the intuition behind internalism about one's good, I argue that two-tier internalism is actually false. In particular, the problem is that no substantive theory of well-being is consistent with two-tier internalism. Accordingly, there is reason to think that even the best version of internalism about one's good is in fact false. Thus, I conclude, the prospects for internalism about a person's good do not look promising. (shrink)
Examination is made of a range of cyborg solutions to bodily problems due to damage, but here with particular reference to aging. Both technological and animal implants, transplants and prosthetic devices are phenomenologically analyzed. The resultant trade-off phenomena are compared to popular culture technofantasies and desires and finally to human attitudes toward mortality and contingency. The parallelism of resistance to contingent existence and to becoming a cyborg is noted.
Stephen Pinker sets out over a dozen arguments in The language instinct (Morrow, New York, 1994) for his widely shared view that natural language is inadequate as a medium for thought. Thus he argues we must suppose that the primary medium of thought and inference is an innate propositional representation system, mentalese. I reply to the various arguments and so defend the view that some thought essentially involves natural language. I argue mentalese doesn't solve any of the problems Pinker cites (...) for the view that we think in natural language. So I don't think I think the way he thinks I think. (shrink)
This paper praises and criticizes Peter-Paul Verbeek’s What Things Do ( 2006 ). The four things that Verbeek does well are: (1) remind us of the importance of technological things; (2) bring Karl Jaspers into the conversation on technology; (3) explain how technology “co-shapes” experience by reading Bruno Latour’s actor-network theory in light of Don Ihde’s post-phenomenology; (4) develop a material aesthetics of design. The three things that Verbeek does not do well are: (1) analyze the material conditions in which (...) things are produced; (2) criticize the social-political design and use context of things; and (3) appreciate how liberal moral-political theory contributes to our evaluation of technology. (shrink)
Resistance to contextualism comes in the form of many very different types of objections. My topic here is a certain group or family of related objections to contextualism that I call “Now you know it, now you don’t” objections. I responded to some such objections in my “Contextualism and Knowledge Attributions” a few years back. In what follows here, I will expand on that earlier response in various ways, and, in doing so, I will discuss some aspects of David Lewis’s (...) recent paper, “Elusive Knowledge.”. (shrink)
By way of an example, Lewis imagines your being invited to join Schrödinger’s cat in its box for an hour. This box will either fill up with deadly poison fumes or not, depending on whether or not some radioactive atom decays, the probability of decay within an hour being 50%. The invitation is accompanied with some further incentive to comply (Lewis sets it up so there is a significant chance of some pretty bad but not life-threatening punishment if you don’t (...) get in the box). Lewis argues that the many minds theory implies that you should get in the box with the cat, despite this making it 50% likely you will die. (shrink)
Tom Kelly argues that instrumentalist aeeounts of epistemie rationality fail beeause what a person has reason to believe does not depend upon the eontent of his or her goals. However, his argument fails to distinguish questions about what the evidence supports from questions about what a person ought to believe. Once these are distinguished, the instrumentalist ean avoid Kelly’s objeetions. The paperconcludes by sketehing what I take to be the most defensible version of the instrumentalist view.
"In 'I Don't Know, Just Wait: Remembering Remarriage in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind', William Day shows how Kaufman's Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind should be considered part of the film genre known as remarriage comedy; but he also shows how Kaufman contributes something new to the genre. Day addresses, in particular, how the conversation that is the condition for reunion involves discovering 'what it means to have memories together as a way of learning how to be together'. (...) One of the most innovative aspects of Kaufman's filmic representation of such a conversation is its effect on the audience: how the narrative structure 'replicates for the viewer the felt contingency of memory that we attribute' to the characters we see onscreen - a couple contending with the interrelated experiences of remarriage and remembering." --David LaRocca, Introduction to The Philosophy of Charlie Kaufman, 12. (shrink)
Working retrospectively in an uncertain field of knowledge, physicians are engaged in an interpretive practice that is guided by couterweighted, competing, sometimes paradoxical maxims. When you hear hoofbeats, don't think zebras, is the chief of these, the epitome of medicine's practical wisdom, its hermeneutic rule. The accumulated and contradictory wisdom distilled in clinical maxims arises necessarily from the case-based nature of medical practice and the narrative rationality that good practice requires. That these maxims all have their opposites enforces in students (...) and physicians a practical skepticism that encourages them to question their expectations, interrupt patterns, and adjust to new developments as a case unfolds. Yet medicine resolutely ignores both the maxims and the tension between the practical reasoning they represent and the claim that medicine is a science. Indeed, resolute epistemological naivete is part of medicine's accommodation to uncertainty; counterweighted, competing, apparently paradoxical (but always situational) rules enable physicians simultaneously to express and to ignore the practical reason that characterizes their practice. (shrink)
What I want to talk about here is a puzzle for historians of philosophy who, like me, have spent a fair amount of time studying the history of mediaeval logic and semantic theory. I don’t know how to solve it, but in various forms it has come up repeatedly in my own work and in the work of colleagues I have talked with about it. I would like to share it with you now.
Don Ihde: Heidegger’s technologies: Postphenomenological perspectives Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-10 DOI 10.1007/s11007-012-9215-z Authors Robert C. Scharff, Department of Philosophy, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH 03824-3574, USA Journal Continental Philosophy Review Online ISSN 1573-1103 Print ISSN 1387-2842.
What's the world made of? Donuts! and Beer! -- Protagoras, Gorgias, Captain Kirk, and Denny Crane -- Socrates : The Sergeant Schultz of Ancient Greece -- Plato is the new American Idol -- Aristotle loves Lucy -- Charlie Harper's Non-Epicurean lifestyle -- St. Augustine's Highway to Heaven -- Scully shaves Mulder with Ockham's Razor -- Larry Hagman dreams of Descartes -- Locke versus Hobbes, or The Brady Bunch takes on Survivor -- Can or can't Kant like vampires? -- Reading Hegel (...) in Outer Space -- John Stuart Mill and the Utilitarian Heroism of Dexter Morgan -- Karl Marx and Adam Smith, meet Alex P. Keaton -- Dr. Gregory House and the Nietzschean Superman -- Don Draper, George Costanza and the non-meaning of life -- Jersey Shore's 'The Situation': The Randian Ideal man with a tan? -- Earl Hickey meets Karma in My name is Earl -- Lost but not least. (shrink)
We consider the implications of trends in the number of U.S. farmers and food imports on the question of what role U.S. farmers have in an increasingly global agrifood system. Our discussion stems from the argument some scholars have made that American consumers can import their food more cheaply from other countries than it can produce it. We consider the distinction between U.S. farmers and agriculture and the effect of the U.S. food footprint on developing nations to argue there might (...) be an important role for U.S. farmers, even if it appears Americans don’t need them. For instance, we may need to protect U.S. farmland and, by implication, U.S. farmers, for future food security needs both domestic and international. We also explore the role of U.S. farmers by considering the question of whether food is a privilege or a right. Although Americans seem to accept that food is a privilege, many scholars and commentators argue that, at least on a global scale, food is a right, particularly for the world’s poor and hungry. If this is the case, then U.S. farmers might have a role in meeting the associated obligation to ensure that the poor of the world have enough food to eat. We look at the consequences of determining that food is a right versus a privilege and the implications of that decision for agricultural subsidies as well as U.S. agriculture and nutrition policies. (shrink)
This paper praises and criticizes Peter-Paul Verbeek's What Things Do (2006). The four things that Verbeek does well are: (1) remind us of the importance of technological things; (2) bring Karl Jaspers into the conversation on technology; (3) explain how technology "co-shapes" experience by reading Bruno Latour's actor-network theory in light of Don Ihde's post-phenomenology; (4) develop a material aesthetics of design. The three things that Verbeek does not do well are: (1) analyze the material conditions in which things are (...) produced; (2) criticize the social-political design and use context of things; and (3) appreciate how liberal moral-political theory contributes to our evaluation of technology. (shrink)