In recent years a number of authors sympathetic to Referentialistaccounts of proper names have argued that utterances containingempty names express `gappy,' or incomplete, propositions. In this paper I want to take issue with this suggestion.In particular, I argue versions of this approach developedby David Braun, Nathan Salmon, Ken Taylor, and by Fred Adams,Gary Fuller, and Robert Stecker.
David Sosa, Michael Nelson, and Jason Stanley have recently offered a series of interesting and provocative challenges to Kripke's modal arguments against Descriptivism. In this paper I explore these challenges and some of the issues to which they give rise. I argue that, in the end, all three challenges fail.
There has recently been considerable interest in accounts of fiction which treat fictional characters as abstract objects. In this paper I argue against this view. More precisely I argue that such accounts are unable to accommodate our intuitions that fictional negative existentials such as “Raskolnikov doesn’t exist” are true. I offer a general argument to this effect and then consider, but reject, some of the accounts of fictional negative existentials offered by abstract object theorists. I then note that some of (...) the sort of data invoked by the abstract object theorist in fact cuts against her position. I concludle that we should not regard fictional characters as abstract objects but rather should adopt a make-believe theoretic account of fictional characters along the lines of those developed by Ken Walton and others. (shrink)
I argue for the existence of intrinsic Finks, Masks, and Mimics, and argue that these undermine certain recent attempts to revive simple conditional analyses of dispositions. I present some examples of intrinsic Finks, Masks, and Mimics, and argue that the example of an intrinsic fink I present has certain advantages over the examples of intrinsic finks recently suggested by Randolph Clarke. I conclude that the existence of such Finks, Masks, and Mimics, undermine a recent attempt by Sungho Choi to distinguish (...) dispositional properties from categorical properties. (shrink)
In this paper I present two arguments against the thesis that we experience qualia. I argue that if we experienced qualia then these qualia would have to be essentially vague entities. And I then offer two arguments, one a reworking of Gareth Evans' argument against the possibility of vague objects, the other a reworking of the Sorites argument, to show that no such essentially vague entities can exist. I consider various objections but argue that ultimately they all fail. In particular (...) I claim that the stock responses to the Sorites argument fail against my reworking of the argument because they require us to make a distinction between a determinate reality and how that reality appears to us, whereas in the case of qualia we can make no such distinction. I conclude that there can be no such things as qualia. (shrink)
Biologists studying complex causal systems typically identify some factors as causes and treat other factors as background conditions. For example, when geneticists explain biological phenomena, they often foreground genes and relegate the cellular milieu to the background. But factors in the milieu are as causally necessary as genes for the production of phenotypic traits, even traits at the molecular level such as amino acid sequences. Gene-centered biology has been criticized on the grounds that because there is parity among causes, the (...) “privileging” of genes reflects a reductionist bias, not an ontological difference. The idea that there is an ontological parity among causes is related to a philosophical puzzle identified by John Stuart Mill: what, other than our interests or biases, could possibly justify identifying some causes as the actual or operative ones, and other causes as mere background? The aim of this paper is to solve this conceptual puzzle and to explain why there is not an ontological parity among genes and the other factors. It turns out that solving this puzzle helps answer a seemingly unrelated philosophical question: what kind of causal generality matters in biology? (shrink)
Former discussions of biological generalizations have focused on the question of whether there are universal laws of biology. These discussions typically analyzed generalizations out of their investigative and explanatory contexts and concluded that whatever biological generalizations are, they are not universal laws. The aim of this paper is to explain what biological generalizations are by shifting attention towards the contexts in which they are drawn. I argue that within the context of any particular biological explanation or investigation, biologists employ two (...) types of generations. One type identifies causal regularities exhibited by particular kinds of biological entities. The other type identifies how these entities are distributed in the biological world. (shrink)
Watson and Crick’s discovery of the structure of DNA led to developments that transformed many biological sciences. But what were the relevant developments and how did they transform biology? Much of the philosophical discussion concerning this question can be organized around two opposing views: theoretical reductionism and layer-cake antireductionism. Theoretical reductionist and their anti-reductionist foes hold two assumptions in common. First, both hold that biological knowledge is structured like a layer cake, with some biological sciences, such as molecular biology cast (...) at lower levels of organization, and others, such as classical genetics, cast at higher levels. Second, both assume that scientific knowledge is structured by theory and that the productivity of scientific research depends on whether the underlying theory identifies the fundamentals upon which the phenomena to be explained and investigated depend. In the first part of this paper, I challenge these assumptions. In the second part, I show how recasting the basic theory of classical genetics made it possible to retool the methodologies of genetics. It was the investigative power of these retooled methodologies, and not the explanatory power of a gene-based theory, that transformed biology. (shrink)
Empirical knowledge exists in the form of antiskeptical conditionals, which are propositions like [if I am not undetectably deceived, then I am holding a pen]. Such conditionals, despite their trivial appearance, have the same essential content as the categorical propositions that we usually discuss, and can serve the same functions in science and practical reasoning. This paper sketches out two versions of a general response to skepticism that employs these conditionals. The first says that our ordinary knowledge attributions can safely (...) be replaced by statements using antiskeptical conditionals, which provides a way around the standard sort of skeptical argument while accepting its soundness with respect to the usual targets. The second analyzes the objects of our ordinary knowledge attributions as antiskeptical conditionals, which allows us to refute, not just evade, the skeptic's argument. Both versions compare favorably to the best-knowncurrent approaches to skepticism, including semantic contextualism. (shrink)
Leading philosophical accounts presume that Thomas H. Morgan’s transmission theory can be understood independently of experimental practices. Experimentation is taken to be relevant to confirming, rather than interpreting, the transmission theory. But the construction of Morgan’s theory went hand in hand with the reconstruction of the chief experimental object, the model organism Drosophila melanogaster . This raises an important question: when a theory is constructed to account for phenomena in carefully controlled laboratory settings, what knowledge, if any, indicates the theory’s (...) relevance to phenomena outside highly controlled settings? The answer, I argue, is found within the procedural knowledge embedded within laboratory practice. †To contact the author, please write to: Minnesota Center for Philosophy of Science, University of Minnesota, Department of Philosophy, 831 Heller Hall, 271 19th Ave., University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455‐0310; e‐mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. (shrink)
The lack of concrete guidance provided by managerial moral standards and the ambiguity of the expectations they create are discussed in terms of the moral stress experienced by many managers. It is argued that requisite clarity and feelings of obligation with respect to moral standards derive ultimately from public discussion of moral issues within organizations and from shared public agreement about appropriate behavior. Suggestions are made about ways in which the moral dimension of an organization's culture can be more effectively (...) managed. This is the third in a research series of three papers. (shrink)
Okasha claims at the outset of his book "Evolution and the Levels of Selection" (2006) that the Price equation lays bare the fundamentals underlying all selection phenomena. However, the thoroughness of his subsequent analysis of multi-level selection theories leads him to abandon his fundamentalist commitments. At critical points he invokes cost benefit analyses that sometimes favors the Price approach and sometimes the contextual approach, sometimes favors MLS1 and sometimes MLS2. And although he doesn’t acknowledge it, even the Price approach breaks (...) down into a family of alternative equations that parse the causes in different ways, none of which is uniquely correct and none of which achieves the ultimate isolation of effects due to what Okasha believes are the fundamental causes. I argue that his book provides good reason to re-conceive our understanding of evolutionary theorizing in terms of a toolbox view (developed here) and to stop subjecting the analyses of evolutionary concepts to a universalist standard. (shrink)
Abstract: My aim in this article is to introduce readers to the topic of exploratory experimentation and briefly explain how the three articles that follow, by Richard Burian, Kevin Elliott, and Maureen O’Malley advance our understanding of the nature and significance of exploratory research. I suggest that the distinction between exploratory and theory-driven experimentation is multidimensional and that some of the dimensions are continuums. I point out that exploratory experiments are typically theory-informed even if they are not theory-driven. I also (...) distinguish between research programs and experiments. Research programs that are largely exploratory, such as the ones discussed in these case studies, can involve both exploratory and theory-driven experimentation. (shrink)
In this paper I provide some formal schemas for the analysis of vague predicates in terms of a set of semantic relations other than classical synonymy, including weak synonymy (as between "large" and "huge"), antonymy (as between "large" and "small"), relativity (as between "large" and "large for a dog"), and a kind of supervenience (as between "large" and "wide" or "long"). All of these relations are representable in the simple comparative logic CL, in accordance with the basic formula: the more (...) something is F, the more (or less) it is G. I use Carnapian meaning postulates to define these relations as constraints on interpretations of the formal language of CL. (shrink)
Recent research has suggested that the Pirahã, an Amazonian tribe with a number-less language, are able to match quantities > 3 if the matching task does not require recall or spatial transposition. This finding contravenes previous work among the Pirahã. In this study, we re-tested the Pirahãs’ performance in the crucial one-to-one matching task utilized in the two previous studies on their numerical cognition, as well as in control tasks requiring recall and mental transposition. We also conducted a novel quantity (...) recognition task. Speakers were unable to consistently match quantities > 3, even when no recall or transposition was involved. We provide a plausible motivation for the disparate results previously obtained among the Pirahã. Our findings are consistent with the suggestion that the exact recognition of quantities > 3 requires number terminology. (shrink)
: Many environmentalists criticize as unecological the emphasis that animal liberationists and animal rights theorists place on preventing animal suffering. The strong form of their objection holds that both theories ab-surdly entail a duty to intervene in wild predation. The weak form holds that animal welfarists must at least regard predation as bad, and that this stance reflects an arrogance toward nature that true environmentalists should reject. This paper disputes both versions of the predation critique. Animal welfarists are not committed (...) to protecting the rabbit from the fox, nor do their principles implicitly deprecate nature. (shrink)
Based on analysis of interviews with managers about the ethical questions they face in their work, a typology of morally questionable managerial acts is developed. The typology distinguishes acts committed against-the-firm (non-role and role-failure acts) from those committed on-behalf-of-the-firm (role-distortion and role-as-sertion acts) and draws attention to the different nature of the four types of acts. The argument is made that senior management attention is typically focused on the types of acts which are least problematical for most managers, and that (...) the most troublesome types are relatively ignored. (shrink)
This paper investigates what molecular biology has done for our understanding of the gene. I base a new account of the gene concept of classical genetics on the classical dogma that gene differences cause phenotypic differences. Although contemporary biologists often think of genes in terms of this concept, molecular biology provides a second way to understand genes. I clarify this second way by articulating a molecular gene concept. This concept unifies our understanding of the molecular basis of a wide variety (...) of phenomena, including the phenomena that classical genetics explains in terms of gene differences causing phenotypic differences. (shrink)
Sttrrtmory.Ã¢â¬â It has been suggested recently that self-awareness is cognitively mediated by inner speech and that this hypothesis could be tested by using the private speech paradigm. This paper describes a study in which the creation of a state of self-awareness was attempted in children to test the viability of a research strategy based on private speech and used to explore the hypothesis of a link between selfawareness and inner speech, and to test directly this hypothesis by comparing the incidence (...) of private speech in self-aware and control conditions. 32 children were asked to evaluate the attractiveness of pictures when in front of a mirror (a widely used self-focusing stimulus) and with no mirror. Reliably more favorable ratings of the images.. (shrink)
Susan Mills and John Beatty proposed a propensity interpretation of fitness (1979) to show that Darwinian explanations are not circular, but they did not address the critics' chief complaint that the principle of the survival of the fittest is either tautological or untestable. I show that the propensity interpretation cannot rescue the principle from the critics' charges. The critics, however, incorrectly assume that there is nothing more to Darwin's theory than the survival of the fittest. While Darwinians all scoff at (...) this assumption, they do not agree about what role, if any, this principle plays in Darwin's theory of natural selection. I argue that the principle has no place in Darwin's theory. His theory does include the idea that some organisms are fitter than others. But greater reproductive success is simply inferred from higher fitness. There is no reason to embody this inference in the form of a special principle of the survival of the fittest. (shrink)
I provide an intuitive, semantic account of a new logic forcomparisons (CL), in which atomic statements are assigned both aclassical truth-value and a ``how much'''' value or extension in the range [0, 1]. The truth-value of each comparison is determinedby the extensions of its component sentences; the truth-value ofeach atomic depends on whether its extension matches a separatestandard for its predicate; everything else is computed classically. CL is less radical than Casari''s comparative logics, in that it does not allow for (...) the formation of comparative statements out of truth-functional molecules. I argue that CL provides a betteranalysis of comparisons and predicate vagueness than classicallogic, fuzzy logic or supervaluation theory. CL provides a modelfor descriptions of the world in terms of comparisons only. Thesorites paradox can be solved by the elimination of atomic sentences. (shrink)
Darwinians are realists about the force of selection, but there has been surprisingly little discussion about what form this realism should take. Arguments about the units of selection in general and genic selectionism in particular reveal two realist assumptions: (1) for any selection process, there is a uniquely correct identification of the operative selective forces and the level at which each impinges; and (2) selective forces must satisfy the Pareto-style requirement of probabilistic causation. I argue that both assumptions are false; (...) we must temper realism about the force of selection and revise the way we think about probabilistic causation. (shrink)
Based on the results of open ended interviews with managers in a variety of organizational positions, moral questions encountered in everyday managerial life are described. These involve transactions with employees, peers and superiors, customers, suppliers and other stakeholders. It is suggested that managers identify transactions as involving personal moral concern when they believe that a moral standard has a bearing on the situation and when they experience themselves as having the power to affect the transaction. This is the first in (...) a research series of three papers. (shrink)
Descriptions of how managers think about the moral questions that come up in their work lives are analyzed to draw out the moral assumptions to which they commonly refer. The moral standards thus derived are identified as (1) honesty in communication, (2) fair treatment, (3) special consideration, (4) fair competition, (5) organizational responsibility, (6) corporate social responsibility, and, (7) respect for law. It is observed that these normative standards assume the cultural form of social conventions but because managers invoke them (...) as largely private intuitions, their cultural status remains precarious and unclear. This is the second in a research series of three papers. (shrink)
When managers use moral expressions in their communications, they do so for several, sometimes contradictory reasons. Based upon analyses of interviews with managers, this article examines seven distinctive uses of moral talk, sub-divided into three groupings: (1) managers use moral talk functionally to clarify issues, to propose and criticize moral justifications, and to cite relevant norms; (2) managers also use moral talk functionally to praise and to blame as well as to defend and criticize structures of authority; finally (3) managers (...) use moral talk dysfunctionally to rationalize morally ambiguous behavior and to express frustrations. The article concludes with several practical recommendations. (shrink)
The article reflects on the nature of the political in theatre, assessing the notion that theatre is the last free public space and evaluating the claims to be political of rival, problematic modes of writing—the theatre of fact or verbatim theatre and the allegorical late plays of Bond, Pinter and Churchill, turning to consider the problematic legacy of Brecht, the avatar of the political. The discussion turns to writers often excluded from the political nomenclature, developing the notion of the centrality (...) of critique and offering an argument for the Naturalist writers as propagators of true ‘thinking aloud’, thereby suggesting they provide a model for theatre as such. The piece concludes with a discussion of the author’s own contribution to the genre in the light of these analyses. (shrink)
Clark Glymour has argued that hypothetico-deductivism, which many take to be an important method of scientific confirmation, is hopeless because it cannot be reconstructed in classical logic. Such reconstructions, as Glymour points out, fail to uphold the condition of relevance between theory and evidence. I argue that the source of the irrelevant confirmations licensed by these reconstructions lies not with hypothetico-deductivism itself, but with the classical logic in which it is typically reconstructed. I present a new reconstruction of hypothetico-deductivism in (...) relevance logic that does maintain the condition of relevance between theory and evidence. Hence, if hypothetico-deductivism is an important rationale in science, we have good reason to believe that the logic underlying scientific discourse is captured better by relevance logic than by its classical counterpart. (shrink)
Research has shown that men and women are similar in their capabilities and management competence; however, there appears to be a glass ceiling which poses invisible barriers to their promotion to management positions. One explanation for the existence of these barriers lies in stereotyped, biased attitudes toward women in executive positions. This study supports earlier findings that attitudes of men toward women in executive positions are generally negative, while the attitudes of women are generally positive. Additionally, we found that an (...) individual's level of cognitive moral development correlates significantly with attitudes toward women executives. Limitations of the present study and implications for ethics and diversity training in organizations are discussed. (shrink)
This paper extends the discussion of business ethics by examining the issue of corruption, its definition, the solutions being proposed for dealing with it, and the ethical perspectives underpinning these proposals. The paper’s findings are based on a review of association, think-tank, and academic reports, books, and papers dealing with the topic of corruption, as well as the pronouncements, websites, and position papers of a number of important global organizations active in the fight. These organizations include the World Bank, the (...) International Monetary Fund, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, Transparency International, USAID, the United Nations, the International Chamber of Commerce, the Organization of American States, and the Council of Europe. Our discussion departs from prior analyses by adopting a Foucaultian theoretical framing and by incorporating insights found in the virtue ethics literature. Implications are provided for international business organizations. (shrink)
The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers may be the most popular children's program since the inception of television. While the program is a commercial success, it also generates much controversy. For example, with an average of 211 acts of violence per hour, is Power Rangers too violent for children to watch? The show's U.S. producers rebut by claiming that Power Rangers is perhaps the most multicultural children's program available in the United States and should be encouraged. How is this so-called multiculturalism (...) presented to millions of children across America 6 days a week? Can such expression be so valuable that it outweighs the controversy surrounding the program? Through textual analysis this paper concludes that the multiculturalism in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers is, at most, a mirage. The ethical implications of such mirage multicultualism are examined. (shrink)
Although historians have carefully examined exactly what role the analogy between artificial and natural selection might have played in Charles Darwin's discovery of natural selection, philosophers have not devoted much attention to the way Darwin employed the analogy to justify his theory. I suggest that philosophers tend to belittle the role that analogies play in the justification of scientific theories because they don't understand the special nature of analogical inference. I present a novel account of analogical argument developed by Julian (...) Weitzenfeld and then use it to carry out an in-depth analysis of Darwin's argument from artificial selection. (shrink)
Philosophers now treat the relationship between classical genetics and molecular biology as a paradigm of nonreduction and this example is playing an increasingly prominent role in debates about the reducibility of theories in other sciences. This paper shows that the anti-reductionist consensus about genetics will not withstand serious scrutiny. In addition to defusing the main anti-reductionist objections, this critical analysis uncovers tell-tale signs of a significant reduction in progress. It also identifies philosophical issues relevant to gaining a better understanding of (...) what is now happening in genetics and of what we might expect to happen in other sciences. (shrink)
This article examines four leading multi-stakeholder labour monitoring organizations. All operating in the maquiladora industry, these organizations are viewed in light of the growing global trend toward industry self-regulation, or what has been referred to as the 'global out-sourcing of regulation'. Their Board compositions, codes of conduct and monitoring and enforcement strategies are all examined as a means of tentatively positioning these organizations along an 'egoist-instrumentalist-moralist' ethical culture continuum. Such a framing provides insights into the perceived salience of these organizations' (...) broader stakeholders, the effectiveness of codes of conduct on workplace practices more generally, and the role that ethics plays in the governance and accountability of these increasingly important types of organizations. (shrink)
We propose that the fine discrete movements of the tongue as used in speech are what account for the extreme lateralization in humans, and that handedness is a mere byproduct of tongue use. With regard to syntax, we support the Armstrong et al. (1995) proposition that syntax derives directly from gestural motor movements as opposed to facial expressions.
Advocacy publications, particularly those focused on the reporting and analysis of religious news and theology, have proliferated throughout American history. Today some 3,000 religious periodicals continue to vie for the eyes and hearts of American readers. Like their mainstream journalistic counterparts, advocacy publications over the years have formed professional associations that provide ongoing seminars, workshops, and professional standards for conduct and mutual accountability such as codes of ethics.
Commentaries on our target article raise further questions about the validity of an undifferentiated central executive that supplies resources to all verbal tasks. Working memory tasks are more likely to measure divided attention capacities and the efficiency of performing tasks within specific domains than a shared resource pool. In our response to the commentaries, we review and further expand upon empirical findings that relate performance on working memory tasks to sentence processing, concluding that our view that the two are not (...) strongly related remains viable in light of the material presented in the commentaries. We suggest that a productive research enterprise would be to develop the concept of working memory as a pool of resources in relation to specific tasks. (shrink)
This study responds to suggestions that business-school faculty are promoting distorted views of human nature and out-dated notions of ethics. Specifically, the paper examines in-depth interviews with a sample of 15 faculty centrally-positioned within the field’s symbolic market, namely, academics who completed their Ph.D. programs in the same institutional space as the editors of five top accounting journals. The paper finds that ethics are for the most part important to these individuals, but that the field’s general adherence to the neoclassical (...) economic model creates pressures that militate against a deeper concern for and more adequate treatment of the topic. (shrink)
The current focus on corporate culture in managerial theory, on character development in business ethics, and on the work—family relationship in family studies calls for an integrating concept to help us explore the relationship of work, family, and fundamental values. The ancient Greek concept of the oikos offers a basic framework for understanding the ensemble of emotional commitments and faith values underlying ethical action in organizational life. Examination of the interrelationships among the arenas of work, family and faith directs us (...) to the importance of ecclesiologies, faith concepts, and family forms for business ethics. (shrink)
This commentary discusses the dynamic systems (DS) approach to communication over an information-processing (IP) model. The commenters suggest that the authors of the target article, in their treatment of the issue, do not identify the central failing of the IP model. Further, it is suggested that the DS approach should include examination of mechanisms in the emergence of symbolic communication.
Preface -- How brave a new world? : God, technology, and medicine -- A theological reflection on reproductive medicine -- Are our genes our fate? : genomics and Christian theology -- Persons, neighbors, and embryos : some ethical reflections on human cloning and stem cell research -- Extending human life : to what end? -- What is Christian about Christian bioethics? -- Revitalizing medicine : empowering natality vs. fearing mortality -- The future of the human species -- Creation, creatures, and (...) creativity : the Word and the final Word. (shrink)