Universals are a class of mind independent entities, usually contrasted with individuals, postulated to ground and explain relations of qualitative identity and resemblance among individuals. Individuals are said to be similar in virtue of sharing universals. An apple and a ruby are both red, and their common redness results from sharing a universal. If they are both red at the same time, the universal, red, must be in two places at once. This makes universals quite different from individuals, and controversial. (...) Whether universals are in fact required to explain relations of qualitative identity and resemblance among individuals has engaged metaphysicians for two thousand years. Disputants fall into one of three broad camps. Realists endorse universals. Conceptualists and Nominalists, on the other hand, refuse to accept universals and deny that they are needed. Conceptualists explain similarity among individuals by appealing to general concepts or ideas, things that exist only in minds. Nominalists, in contrast, are content to leave relations of qualitative resemblance brute and ungrounded. Numerous versions of Nominalism have been proposed, some with a great deal of sophistication. Contemporary philosophy has seen the rise of a new form of Nominalism, one that makes use of a special class of individuals, known as tropes. Familiar individuals have many properties, but tropes are single property instances. Whether Trope Nominalism improves on earlier Nominalist theories is the subject of much recent debate. In general, questions surrounding universals touch upon some of the oldest, deepest, and most abstract of philosophical issues. (shrink)
Nussbaum’s theory of the emotions draws heavily on the Stoic account. In her theory, emotions are a kind of value judgment or thought. This is in stark contrast to the well-known proposal from William James, who took emotions to be bodily feelings. There are various motivations for taking emotions as judgments. One main reason is that emotions are intentional mental states. They are always about something, directed at particular objects or state of affairs. For example, fear seems to involve the (...) anticipation of danger. To grief for the passing of a loved one involves the thought that someone dear to us is now gone. In Upheavals of Thought and also in her Hochelaga Lecture, Nussbaum analyzed compassion as a set of judgments, including for example the judgment that someone is experiencing serious suffering, and that the person in question does not deserve the suffering. (shrink)
This paper is about possible worlds semantics for propositional attitude sentences. In particular I shall focus on belief reports in English such as "Lusina believes that tofu is nutritious." It is well-known that possible worlds semantics for such reports suffers from the so-called _problem of equivalence_ . In this paper I shall examine some attempts to deal with this problem and argue that they are unsatisfactory.
New Zealand is one of two OECD countries in the world where direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription medicine (DTCA-PM) is permitted. Increase in such activity in recent years has resulted in a disproportionate increase in dispensary volume of heavily advertised medicines. Concern for the potential harm to healthcare consumers and the public healthcare system has prompted the medical profession to call for a ban on DTCA-PM as the best way of protecting the public interest. Such blanket prohibition however also interferes with (...) the public’s right of access to information. This paper will examine if banning DTCA-PM would constitute a justified form of paternalism in the context of today’s New Zealand. (shrink)
of (from British Columbia Philosophy Graduate Conference) In moral reasoning, we sometimes encounter situations where what our ethical principles tell us to do and what we actually do conflict. In legal ethics, such anomalies arise for lawyers in defending a client who commits perjury. Wallace argues that such lawyers have not mastered the practice of truth-telling, and thus suffer from some sort of moral deficiency. However, due to the complexities of legal practice, particularly the value of truth and evidence, lawyers (...) must learn to accommodate cases of perjury into their moral taxonomies, and this is not a simple feat. In addition, I examine the ethics of lying in everyday life, such as in cases of protecting reputation or feelings. As such, I posit that Wallace is oversimplifying the situation and individuals in “perjured client” cases actually have a better and more realistic grasp on the exercise of practical ethics than he claims. (shrink)
In everyday life, we typically explain what people do by attributing mental states such as beliefs and desires. Such mental states belong to a class of mental states that are _intentional_, mental states that have content. Hoping that Johnny will win, and believing that Johnny will win are of course rather different mental states that can lead to very different behaviour. But they are similar in that they both have the same content : what is being hoped for and believed (...) is the very same thing. According to the thesis of externalism that has been defended most notably by Hilary Putnam and Tyler Burge, not all of the contents of our mental states are determined by our intrinsic properties. Instead, the contents of our beliefs and desires are often determined in part by our relations to the environment. They are, so to speak, "wide" contents that are "not in our heads." Although externalism is accepted by most philosophers, many have argued that mental states with wide contents must also have a kind of content wholly determined by the intrinsic properties of the individuals who are in those states. This kind of content is called "narrow content". The aim of this paper is to distinguish between three rather different motivations for postulating narrow content. I argue that, given a certain conception of narrow content that I shall explain below, none of these three motivations succeed in establishing the existence of narrow content. (shrink)
(1) It is not clear from Gold and Stoljar’s definition of biological neuroscience whether it includes computational and representational concepts. If so, then their evaluation of Kandel’s theory is problematic. If not, then a more direct refutation of the radical neuron doctrine is available. (2) Objections to the psychological sciences might derive not just from the conflation of the radical and the trivial neuron doctrine. There might also be the implicit belief that for many mental phenomena, adequate theories must invoke (...) neurophysiological concepts and cannot be purely psychological. (shrink)
It is usually taken as given that consciousness involves superior or more elaborate forms of information processing. Contemporary models equate consciousness with global processing, system complexity, or depth or stability of computation. This is in stark contrast with the powerful philosophical intuition that being conscious is more than just having the ability to compute. I argue that it is also incompatible with current empirical findings. I present a model that is free from the strong assumption that consciousness predicts superior performance. (...) The model is based on Bayesian decision theory, of which signal detection theory is a special case. It reflects the fact that the capacity for perceptual decisions is fundamentally limited by the presence and amount of noise in the system. To optimize performance, one therefore needs to set decision criteria that are based on the behaviour, i.e. the probability distributions, of the internal signals. One important realization is that the knowledge of how our internal signals behave statistically has to be learned over time. Essentially, we are doing statistics on our own brain. This ‘higherorder’ learning, however, may err, and this impairs our ability to set and maintain optimal criteria for perceptual decisions, which I argue is central to perception consciousness. I outline three possibilities of how conscious perception might be affected by failures of ‘higher-order’ representation. These all imply that one can have a dissociation between consciousness and performance. This model readily explains blindsight and hallucinations in formal terms, and is beginning to receive direct empirical support. I end by discussing some philosophical implications of the model. (shrink)
It has been over a decade and half since Christof Koch and the late Francis Crick first advocated the now popular NCC project (Crick and Koch, 1990), in which one tries to find the neural correlate of consciousness (NCC) for perceptual processes. In his chapter in this book Chris Frith provides a splendid review of how neuroimaging has contributed greatly to this project. For the sake of contrast, this chapter takes a more critical stance on what we have actually learned. (...) Many authors have written on whether looking for the neural correlates would eventually lead to an explanatory theory of consciousness, while the proponents defend that focusing on correlates is a strategically sensible first step, given the complexity of the problem (Crick and Koch, 1998;Crick and Koch, 2003). My point here is not to argue whether studying the NCC is useful, but rather, to question whether we are really studying the NCC at all. I argue that in hoping to sidestep the difficult conceptual issues, we have sometimes also missed the phenomenon of perceptual consciousness itself. (shrink)
The evolution of human language, and the kind of thought the communication of which requires it, raises considerable explanatory challenges. These systems of representation constitute a radical discontinuity in the natural world. Even species closely related to our own appear incapable of either thought or talk with the recursive structure, generalized systematicity, and task-domain neutrality that characterize human talk and the thought it expresses. W. Tecumseh Fitch’s proposal (2004, in press) that human language is descended from a sexually selected, prosodic (...) proto-language that approximated its syntactic complexity, and later acquired semantics thanks to kin selection for its use as a means of pedagogical transmission, has the promise of meeting these explanatory challenges. However, Fitch’s theory raises two problems of its own: (1) according to Boyd and Richerson (1996, Proc. Br. Acad. 88: 77–93), circumstances in which pedagogy is adaptive are inevitably rare in nature, and (2) it is unlikely that our non-discursive precursors had generally systematic, task-domain neutral thoughts to communicate to their offspring. I propose solutions to these problems. Pedagogy would be favored in a population where complex rituals dominated diverse aspects of life. Prosodic proto-language could emerge as the medium of pedagogic transmission. As this medium was used to teach a greater variety of tasks, it would become increasingly general and domain neutral. The presence and importance of such a system of communication in hominid populations could then drive, via Baldwinian mechanisms, the evolution of a kind of ‘thinking for speaking’ (Slobin 1991, Pragmatics 1: 7–25) characterized by recursive structure, generalized systematicity, and task-domain neutrality. (shrink)
Paternity certainty and matrilineal family ties have been used to explain the asymmetric caregiving of grandparents and aunts and uncles. The proximate mechanisms underlying biased kin investment, however, remain unclear. A central question of the study presented here was whether the parent-kin relationship is an important link in the caregiving. In a two-generational questionnaire study, we asked subjects to estimate the intensity of their relationships to parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles (emotional closeness, investment received in childhood). In addition, the subjects’ (...) parents rated their emotional closeness to their parents and siblings. We found that the parent-kin relationship was closely linked to the relatives’ child care and could partly explain asymmetric caregiving. Maternal aunts played a special role as caregivers. Especially the mother’s younger or last-born sister cared intensively for nieces and nephews, regardless of her closeness to the subjects’ mother. (shrink)
Este artigo quer mostrar que Kant descobriu, segundo Eric Weil, o problema do sentido. Entretanto, Eric Weil observa que Kant não encontrou uma linguagem apropriada para falar do sentido. A linguagem de Kant era ainda uma linguagem ontológica. Malgrado isso, Kant conseguiu fechar, na terceira Crítica, o abismo que separava natureza e liberdade.
This paper presents a comparison of social kinship (patrilineage) and biological kinship (genetic relatedness) in predicting cooperative relationships in two different economic contexts in the fishing and whaling village of Lamalera, Indonesia. A previous analysis (Alvard, Human Nature 14:129–163, 2003) of boat crew affiliation data collected in the village in 1999 found that social kinship (patrilineage) was a better predictor of crew affiliation than was genetic kinship. A replication of this analysis using similar data collected in 2006 finds the same (...) pattern: lineage is a better predictor than genetic kinship of crew affiliation, and the two together explain little additional variance over that explained by lineage alone. However, an analogous test on food-sharing relationships finds the opposite pattern: biological kinship is a better predictor of food-sharing relationships than is social kinship. The difference between these two cooperative contexts is interpreted in terms of kin preferences that shape partner choice, and the relative autonomy with which individuals can seek to satisfy those preferences. Drawing on stable matching theory, it is suggested that unilineal descent may serve as a stable compromise among multiple individuals’ incongruent partner preferences, with patriliny favored over matriliny in the crew-formation context because it leads to higher mean degrees of relatedness among male cooperators. In the context of food-sharing, kin preferences can be pursued relatively autonomously, without the necessity of coordinating preferences with those of other households through the institution of lineage. (shrink)
This paper investigates the impact of kin on child survival in a matrilineal society in Malawi. Women usually live in close proximity to their matrilineal kin in this agricultural community, allowing opportunities for helping behavior between matrilineal relatives. However, there is little evidence that matrilineal kin are beneficial to children. On the contrary, child mortality rates appear to be higher in the presence of maternal grandmothers and maternal aunts. These effects are modified by the sex of child and resource ownership: (...) female children and children in households where women, rather than men, own land suffer higher mortality rates in the presence of maternal kin. These modifiers suggest the detrimental effects of matrilineal kin may result from competition between such kin for resources. There are some positive effects of kin on child survival: the presence of elder siblings of both sexes is correlated with higher survival rates, and there is some weak evidence that paternal grandmothers may be beneficial to a child’s survival chances. There is little evidence that any male kin, whether matrilineal or patrilineal, and including fathers, affect child mortality rates. This study highlights the importance of taking social and ecological context into account when investigating relationships between kin. (shrink)
Various human groups, from food foragers to inner-city urban Americans, have used widespread sharing of resources through kin networks as a means of buffering themselves against fluctuations in resource availability in their environments. This paper addresses the effects of progressive incorporation into a wage-labor economy on the benefits of traditional kin networks for two social classes in urban South India. Predictions regarding the effects of kin network wealth, education, and size on child and spouse characteristics and methods of financing marriages (...) are tested using various regression techniques. Despite the rapid growth of participation in a wage-labor economy, it is found that kin network characteristics still have an important impact on investment behavior among families in Bangalore in both social classes. Network wealth is found to have a positive effect on child and spouse characteristics, and large networks are found to act as significant drains on family resources. However, the results for education are broadly consistent with an interpretation of increasing family autonomy as parents’ education has a far stronger influence on child and spouse characteristics across categories than network education does. Finally, professional-class parents are found to prefer financing marriages using formal mechanisms such as savings and bank loans while working-class parents preferentially finance marriages using credit from relatives and friends. (shrink)
Supporting Hamilton’s inclusive fitness theory, archival analyses of inheritance patterns in wills have revealed that people invest more of their estates in kin of closer genetic relatedness. Recent classroom experiments have shown that this genetic relatedness effect is stronger for relatives of direct lineage (children, grandchildren) than for relatives of collateral lineage (siblings, nieces, nephews). In the present research, multilevel modeling of more than 1,000 British Columbian wills revealed a positive effect of genetic relatedness on proportions of estates allocated to (...) relatives. This effect was qualified by an interaction with lineage, such that it was stronger for direct than for collateral relatives. Exploratory analyses of the moderating role of benefactors’ sex and estate values showed the genetic relatedness effect was stronger among female and wealthier benefactors. The importance of these moderators to understanding kin investment in modern humans is discussed. (shrink)
In this paper I offer three main challenges to James (2011). All three turn on the nature of philosophy and secure knowledge in Spinoza. First, I criticize James's account of the epistemic role that experience plays in securing adequate ideas for Spinoza. In doing so I criticize her treatment of what is known as the ‘conatus doctrine’ in Spinoza in order to challenge her picture of the relationship between true religion and philosophy. Second, this leads me into a criticism of (...) her account of the nature of philosophy in Spinoza. I argue it is less piecemeal and less akin to what we would recognize as ‘science’ than she suggests. Third, I argue against James's core commitment that Spinoza's three kinds of knowledge differ in degree; I claim they differ in kind. My argument will offer a new interpretation of Spinoza's conception of ‘common notions’. Moreover, I argue that Spinozistic adequate knowledge involves something akin to angelic disembodiment. (shrink)
Was sind wir? Wie immer man sich zu dieser Frage stellt, eines scheint offenkundig: Wir sind Tiere, genauer gesagt: menschliche Tiere, Mitglieder der Art Homo sapiens. Dabei mag es überraschen, daß viele Philosophen diese vermeintlich banale Tatsache abstreiten. Plato, Augustinus, Descartes, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, Kant und Hegel, um nur einige herausragende zu nennen, waren alle der Meinung, wir seien keine Tiere. Es mag zwar sein, daß unsere Körper Tiere sind. Doch sind wir nicht mit unseren Körpern gleichzusetzen. Wir sind etwas (...) anderes als Tiere. Kaum anderer Meinung sind Denker nicht-westlicher Traditionen. Und rund neun von zehn Philosophen, die heutzutage über Probleme der personalen Identität nachdenken, vertreten Ansichten, die ausschließen, daß wir Tiere sind. (shrink)
The present discussion of sociobiological approaches to ethnic nepotism takes Pierre van den Berghe ʼs theory as a starting point. Two points, which have not been addressed in former analyses, are considered to be of particular importance. It is argued that the behavioral mechanism of ethnic nepotism—as understood by van den Berghe—cannot explain ethnic boundaries and attitudes. In addition, I show that van den Bergheʼs central premise concerning ethnic nepotism is in contradiction to Hamiltonʼs formula, the essential principle of kin (...) selection theory. It is further discussed how other approaches that make reference to ethnic nepotism are related to van den Bergheʼs account and its problems. I conclude with remarks on the evolutionary explanation of ethnic phenomena. (shrink)
Eric R. Scerri: selected papers on the periodic table Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s10698-010-9089-2 Authors Pieter Thyssen, Ph.D. Fellow of the Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO), Department of Chemistry, Laboratory of Coordination Chemistry, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Celestijnenlaan 200F bus 2404, B-3001 Leuven, Belgium Journal Foundations of Chemistry Online ISSN 1572-8463 Print ISSN 1386-4238 Journal Volume Volume 12 Journal Issue Volume 12, Number 3.
Verbin, N., Divinely abused: a philosophical perspective on Job and his kin Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11153-010-9262-5 Authors A. K. Anderson, Department of Religion, Wofford College, 429 N. Church St., Spartanburg, SC 29303, USA Journal International Journal for Philosophy of Religion Online ISSN 1572-8684 Print ISSN 0020-7047.
We demonstrate the existence of altruism via kin selection in artificial life and explore its nuances. We do so in the Avida system through a setup that is based on the behavior of colicinogenic bacteria: Organisms can kill unrelated organisms in a given radius but must kill themselves to do so. Initially, we confirm!results found in the bacterial world: Digital organisms do sacrifice themselves for their kin—an extreme example of altruism— and do so more often in structured environments, where kin (...) are always nearby, than in well-mixed environments, where the location of kin is stochastically determined. Having shown that helping one’s kin is advantageous, we turn our attention to investigating the efficacy and implications of the strategies of kincheaters, those who receive help from kin but do not return it. Contrary to the expectations of current theory, we find that kin-cheaters outcompete kin-altruists. Our results cause us to question the stability of strategies that involve altruism between kin. Knowing that kin-altruism persists in biological systems, however, we search for, and find, conditions that allow!kin-based altruism to persist in evolving!systems despite the!presence of kin-cheaters. (shrink)
Atran & Norenzayan (A&N) fail to address several problems with commitment theory as it relates to non-kin altruism in religious contexts. They (1) provide little support for the contention that religious sacrifices function as signals, (2) do not distinguish between religious specialists and lay believers, and (3) conflate definitions of cooperation and sacrifice.
Following its determination of a finding of scientific misconduct the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) will seek redress for any injury sustained. Several remedies both administrative and statutory may be available depending on the strength of the evidentiary findings of the misconduct investigation. Pursuant to federal regulations administrative remedies are primarily remedial in nature and designed to protect the integrity of the affected research program, whereas statutory remedies including civil fines and criminal penalties are designed to deter and punish wrongdoers. (...) This commentary discusses the available administrative and statutory remedies in the context of a specific case, that of former University of Vermont nutrition researcher Eric Poehlman, and supplies a possible rationale for the legal result. (shrink)
This paper considers the bioethics of estranged biological kin, who are biologically related people not in contact with one another (due to adoption, abandonment, or other long-term estrangement). Specifically, I am interested in what is owed to estranged biological kin in the event of medical need. A survey of current bioethics demonstrates that most analyses are not prepared to reckon with the complications of having or being estranged biological kin. For example, adoptees might wonder if a lack of contact with (...) biological kin could someday affect their medical care (or affect the medical care of their biological relatives). Estranged biological kin, such as adoptees, present us with a chance to think about human connection. After sketching several organ-donation and adoption tropes, I argue that a feminist analysis of vulnerability and dependency is helpful for understanding the confusing ties of estranged biological kin. I conclude by proposing a medical registry that would put adoptees and others in touch with their estranged biological kin on a medically as-needed basis. (shrink)
Four models commonly employed in sharing analyses (reciprocal altruism [RA], tolerated scrounging [TS], costly signaling [CS], and kin selection [KS]) have common features which render rigorous testing of unique predictions difficult. Relaxed versions of these models are discussed in an attempt to understand how the underlying principles of delayed returns, avoiding costs, building reputation, and aiding biological kin interact in systems of sharing. Special attention is given to the interpretation of contingency measures that critically define some form of reciprocal altruism.
O presente artigo tem como finalidade a investigação do pensamento filósofo alemão Eric Weil (1904-1977), em especial a sua ideia de socialização e universalização, presente na obra Filosofia Política (1956). Primeiramente será investigado o problema da maldade ou violência naturais, herdadas, portanto, naturalmente pelo homem, chegando depois ao estudo da necessidade de superação dessa violência, que se manifesta ao indivíduo particular e que é manifestada também na sociedade. Por último, será estudado o dever do filósofo político, a saber, a (...) superação e efetivação de uma sociedade cada vez mais universalizada, dever esse que torna a filosofia imprescindível para a sociedade globalizada do século XXI. (shrink)
On the basis of a reinterpretation of the International Sexuality Description Project (ISDP) data, we suggest that findings are consistent with the view that human reproductive behaviour is largely under social control. Behaviours associated with a high Sociosexual Orientation Index (SOI) may be part of a progressive change in reproductive behaviour initiated by the dispersal of kin that occurs as societies modernize.
The enigma of Eric Hoffer -- The migrant worker -- On the waterfront -- Intimate friendships -- The true believer -- Hoffer as a public figure -- The literary life -- America and the intellectuals -- God, Jehovah, and the Jews -- The longshoreman philosopher.
Eric Voegelin and Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy provide an interesting and important contrast in their Augustinian diagnoses of modernity and the role of revolution and faith in salvation in history. For Eric Voegelin the desolation of modern humanity springs from its unreal elevation of the self – its Gnostic inheritance – and its immanentization of God and the eschaton into history and progress. In keeping with this is the moderns’ failure to appreciate that the symbolic order required for a fulfilling (...) human community and experience relies upon the necessity of maintaining God as a beyond in relation to society, man and world. Rosenstock-Huessy is also concerned that the failure of the moderns to understand the sign and significance of God is disastrous. And like Voegelin he is deeply opposed to modern Gnosticism and the pathologies that emerge from it, but Rosenstock-Huessy is also interested in something that is not Voegelin’s primary concern – mainly the role of providence in history. (shrink)
Este artículo se propone analizar la crítica de Eric Voegelin a Max Weber acerca de la relación entre ciencia y valores, para ver sus implicaciones en la historia del concepto de política en Occidente. A comienzos del XX, Weber rompe con el concepto clásico de política aristotélico al señalar que lo específico de la política no son los fines que busca, imposibles de definir objetivamente, sino los medios con que opera (violencia). Voegelin verá en ese postulado una expresión del (...) positivismo dominante hacia la segunda posguerra, y se propondrá restaurar la noción clásica de política, afincada la reunión de lo que Weber había separado, verdad y política. Según Voegelin, Weber fracasa en su intento de edificar una ciencia libre de valores, y ello lo vuelve recuperable para su proyecto de elaborar una ciencia del orden. (shrink)
ls it possible to fit the ancient meaning of virtue into the modem parameters of liberty andautonomy? To answer that question we will lean on the thesis expounded by the Moral Philosophy of Eric Weil. This work, guided by Hegel, will help us measure the size of the antagonism between Aristotle and Kant, leading us through a meditation on historical action, and leading moral reflection to its vital and existential self-realization. Finally, we will assert the value and fertility, in (...) absence of proofs, of this philosophical gesture. (shrink)
Leo Strauss»s Natural Right and History and Eric Voegelin»s New Science of Politics represented both a continuation of the Weimar conversation and a projection into the American context of the issues that defined that conversation. They each chose Max Weber as the pivotal figure in their animadversions regarding historicism, relativism, and the condition of social science, but, as in the case of Weber himself, the underlying issue, which animated the emigres across the ideological spectrum, was the relationship between theory (...) and practice or philosophy and politics. (shrink)
In this paper data from a Tanzanian horticultural population are used to assess whether mother’s kin network size predicts several measures of children’s health and well-being, and whether any kin effects are modified by household socioeconomic status. This hypothesis is further tested with a questionnaire on maternal attitudes towards kin. Results show small associations between measures of maternal kin network size and child mortality and children’s growth performance. Together these results suggest that kin positively influence child health, but the effects (...) are small and it is unlikely that the high prevalence of undernutrition observed in this setting is influenced by the availability of kin. (shrink)
Dispersal of individuals from their natal communities at sexual maturity is an important determinant of kin association. In this paper we compare postmarital residence patterns among Pumé foragers of Venezuela to investigate the prevalence of sex-biased vs. bilateral residence. This study complements cross-cultural overviews by examining postmarital kin association in relation to individual, longitudinal data on residence within a forager society. Based on cultural norms, the Pumé have been characterized as matrilocal. Analysis of Pumé marriages over a 25-year period finds (...) a predominant pattern of natalocal residence. We emphasize that natalocality, bilocality, and multilocality accomplish similar ends in maximizing bilateral kin affiliations in contrast to sex-biased residential patterns. Bilateral kin association may be especially important in foraging economies where subsistence activities change throughout the year and large kin networks permit greater potential flexibility in residential mobility. (shrink)