"But science in the making, science as an end to be pursued, is as subjective and psychologically conditioned as any other branch of human endeavor-- so much so that the question, What is the purpose and meaning of science? receives quite different answers at different times and from different sorts of people" (Einstein 1934, p. 112).
Two things about Hilary Putnam have not changed throughout his career: some (including Putnam himself) have regarded him as a “realist” and some have seen him as a philosopherwho changed his positions (certainly with respect to realism) almost continually. Apparently, what realism meant to him in the 1960s, in the late seventies and eighties, and in the nineties, respectively, are quite different things. Putnam indicates this by changing preﬁxes: scientiﬁc, metaphysical, internal, pragmatic, commonsense, but always realism. Encouraged by Putnam’s own (...) attempts to distinguish his views from one time to another, his work is often regarded as split between an early period of “metaphysical realism” (his characterization) and a later and still continuing period of “internal realism”. Late Putnam is understood to be a view that insists on the primacy of our practices, while the early period is taken to be a view from outside these, a “God’s Eye view”. As Putnam himself stresses (1992b), this way of dividing his work obscures continuities, the most important of which is a continuing attempt to understand what is involved in judging practices of inquiry, like science, as being objectively correct. Thus Putnam’s early and his current work appear to have more in common than the division between “early” and “late” suggests. In fact, Putnam’s earlier writings owe much of their critical force to his adopting the pragmatic perspective of an open-minded participant in practices of empirical inquiry, a stance not explicitly articulated in these writings but rather taken simply as a matter of course.1 Thus insofaras Putnam’s early writings defend a form of representational realism, they can be regarded as attempts to articulate a realist position at work inside our ordinary practices of making empirical judgments. For this reason, we begin our review of Putnam’s realisms by extracting from the early writings a core of principles that carries over into his current work but underwent signiﬁcantly different interpretations over time.. (shrink)
If a specific question has meaning, it must be possible to find operations by which an answer may be given to it. It will be found in many cases that the operations cannot exist, and the question therefore has no meaning. —Bridgman, The Logic of Modern Physics..
The central problem in the interpretation of the quantum theory is how to understand the superposition of the eigenstates of an observable. To a considerable extent scientific practice here, especially as codified in versions of Bohr's Copenhagen interpretation, follows an interpretive principle that I have elsewhere called the Rule of Silence (Ref.1). That rule admonishes us not to talk about the values of an observable unless the state of the system is an eigenstate, or a mixture of eigenstates, of the (...) observable in question. With regard to the rule of silence, as in other matters bearing on the interpretation of the quantum theory, Einstein was one of the first to realize that there can be difficulties. They appear as soon as we look at something like an explosion; i.e., the interaction between a micro and a macrosystem that involves the amplification of a microphenomenon to macroscopic scale (Ref.2). John Bell describes the difficulty over the rule of silence this way. (shrink)
(Draft copy published as “Science Made Up: Constructivist Sociology of Scientific Knowledge.” In P. Galison and D. Stump (eds.) The Disunity of Science: Boundaries, Contexts, and Power. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1996, pp. 231-54.).
Montgomery Furth has written1, "given a suitable pair of individuals ... there is no reason of Aristotelian metaphysics why the very fire and earth that this noon composes Callias and distinguishes him from Socrates could not, by a set of utterly curious chances, twenty years from now compose Socrates ...". He does not specify what these "curious chances" might be. But we may suppose that Socrates eats Callias for his lunch and that, owing to the superiority of Callias' flesh and (...) bone, it is the matter of this which remains in Socrates after the period of twenty years. (shrink)
There are four broad grounds upon which the intelligibility of quantification over absolutely everything has been questioned—one based upon the existence of semantic indeterminacy, another on the relativity of ontology to a conceptual scheme, a third upon the necessity of sortal restriction, and the last upon the possibility of indefinite extendibility. The argument from semantic indeterminacy derives from general philosophical considerations concerning our understanding of language. For the Skolem–Lowenheim Theorem appears to show that an understanding of quanti- fication over absolutely (...) everything (assuming a suitably infinite domain) is semantically indistinguishable from the understanding of quantification over something less than absolutely everything; the same first-order sentences are true and even the same first-order conditions will be satisfied by objects from the narrower domain. From this it is then argued that the two kinds of understanding are indistinguishable tout court and that nothing could count as having the one kind of understanding as opposed to the other. (shrink)
I propose a new semantics for intuitionistic logic, which is a cross between the construction-oriented semantics of Brouwer-Heyting-Kolmogorov and the condition-oriented semantics of Kripke. The new semantics shows how there might be a common semantical underpinning for intuitionistic and classical logic and how intuitionistic logic might thereby be tied to a realist conception of the relationship between language and the world.
This manuscript proposes a proactive framework for preventing or mitigating disruptive ethical conflicts that often result from delayed or avoided conversations about the ethics of care. Four components of the framework are explained and illustrated with evidenced-based actions. Clinical implications of adopting a prevention-based, system-wide ethics framework are discussed. While some aspects of ethically-difficult situations are unique, system patterns allow some issues to occur repeatedly—often with lingering effects such as healthcare providers’ disengagement and moral distress (McAndrew et al. Journal of (...) Trauma Nursing 18(4):221–230, 2011), compromised inter-professional relationships (Rosenstein and O’Daniel American Journal of Nursing, 105(1):54–64, 2005), weakened ethical climates (Pauly et al. HEC Forum 24:1–11, 2012), and patient safety concerns (Cimiotti et al. American Journal of Infection Control 40:486–490, 2012). This work offers healthcare providers and clinical ethicists a framework for developing a comprehensive set of proactive, ethics-specific, and evidence-based strategies for mitigating ethical conflicts. Furthermore, the framework aims to encourage innovative research and novel ways of collaborating to reduce such conflicts and the moral distress that often results. (shrink)
This study provides evidence for implicit learning in syntactic comprehension. By reanalyzing data from a syntactic priming experiment (Thothathiri & Snedeker, 2008), we find that the error signal associated with a syntactic prime influences comprehenders' subsequent syntactic expectations. This follows directly from error-based implicit learning accounts of syntactic priming, but it is unexpected under accounts that consider syntactic priming a consequence of temporary increases in base-level activation. More generally, the results raise questions about the principles underlying the maintenance of implicit (...) statistical knowledge relevant to language processing, and about possible functional motivations for syntactic priming. (shrink)
The neuroscientific investigation of sex differences has an unsavoury past, in which scientific claims reinforced and legitimated gender roles in ways that were not scientifically justified. Feminist critics have recently argued that the current use of functional neuroimaging technology in sex differences research largely follows that tradition. These charges of ‘neurosexism’ have been countered with arguments that the research being done is informative and valuable and that an over-emphasis on the perils, rather than the promise, of such research threatens to (...) hinder scientific progress. To investigate the validity of these contrasting concerns, recent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) investigations of sex differences and citation practices were systematically examined. In line with the notion of neurosexism, the research was found to support the influence of false-positive claims of sex differences in the brain, to enable the proliferation of untested, stereotype-consistent functional interpretations, and to pay insufficient attention to the potential plasticity of sex differences in both brain and mind. This, it is argued, creates a literature biased toward the presentation of sex differences in the brain as extensive, functionally significant, and fixed—and therefore implicitly supportive of a gender essentialist perspective. It is suggested that taking feminist criticisms into account would bring about substantial improvement in the quality of the science, as well as a reduction in socially harmful consequences. (shrink)
In this article I flesh out support for observations that scientific accounts of social groups can influence the very groups and mental phenomena under investigation. The controversial hypothesis that there are hardwired differences between the brains of males and females that contribute to sex differences in gender-typed behaviour is common in both the scientific and popular media. Here I present evidence that such claims, quite independently of their scientific validity, have scope to sustain the very sex differences they seek to (...) explain. I argue that, while further research is required, such claims can have self-fulfilling effects via their influence on social perception, behaviour and attitudes. The real effects of the products of scientists’ research on our minds and society, together with the fact that all scientific hypotheses are subject to dispute and disconfirmation, point to a need for scientists to consider the ethical implications of their work. (shrink)
Towards the end of Theta.4 of the Metaphysics, Aristotle appears to endorse the obviously invalid modal principle that the truth of A will entail the truth of B if the possibility of A entails the possibility of B. I attempt to show how Aristotle's endorsement of the principle can be seen to arise from his accepting a non-standard interpretation of the modal operators and I indicate how the principle and its interpretation are of independent interest, quite apart from their role (...) in understanding Aristotle. (shrink)
“Mathematical objects are not exactly of our own making, but we actually have to do something to get them. There’s something out there which we prod, but there’s the prodding that’s also required. Numbers are not exactly out there or in us, but somehow in between.”.
If the legitimacy of international humanitarian and human rights law lies, in part at least, in its capacity to confront dehumanising actions in the modern world, we may speak of the limits of this achievement. It is well known that people who commit genocide or crimes against humanity typically dehumanise those against whom their crimes are committed and that the humanitarian and human rights dimensions of international law were developed in response to the radicalisation of this phenomenon. The expanded scope (...) of international criminal justice caught a cosmopolitan imagination because it seemed to restore an idea of humanity in the face of organised attempts to eradicate the very idea of universal humanity. It also caught a cosmopolitan imagination because it seemed to restore the humanity of the perpetrators as well. They were no longer to be treated as beasts liable to the 'punishment' of the victors but to be brought to trial, held accountable for their deeds and converted back into responsible human beings. Today, however, I suggest that we face a double temptation: in confronting those who commit crimes against humanity to represent them as inhuman monsters rather than responsible human beings; in our compassion for victims of crimes against humanity, it is to represent them merely as victims and not as moral and political subjects. In either case, there can arise a reversal of the problem we are trying to address. I do not suggest this tendency is inevitable but where it is present it indicates an insufficiently reflective relation to international law. I address the problem of reversal through a discussion of three authors (Rawls, Habermas and Arendt) and three issues ('pariah peoples', 'criminal states' and 'monstrous perpetrators'). (shrink)
This paper lays the foundations for a democratic defence of the argument that at least some non-citizens are entitled to claim rights of political participation with regard to states in which they are not resident. First I outline a distinctively democratic case for granting participatory rights to certain non-resident non-citizens, based upon the central claim that in a democracy those who are governed ought to have the opportunity to participate in the exercise of government. I offer support for extending rights (...) of participation to some non-resident non-citizens by addressing two possible democratic objections, relating to political equality and reciprocity. (shrink)
At the end of Republic 5, Plato distinguishes epistêmê from doxa, knowledge from belief. In Posterior Analytics 1.33, Aristotle provides his own distinction between epistêmê and doxa. I explore his way of distinguishing them and compare it with Plato's.
Based on individual and focus-group interviews, this article describes how social workers in a variety of settings and geographical areas within Ontario approached ethical issues in their daily practices. Two primary approaches to professional ethics emerge from the data: principle based and virtue based, reflecting the orientation of groups we label believers and skeptics, respectively. The code of ethics appears to be the fulcrum from which our participants swing. The believers show faith in the code of ethics and the skeptics (...) are dubious that codes are necessarily in the best interests of clients. The article describes the thinking behind the actions of the believers and skeptics and explores possibilities for future practice and research with respect to decision-making regarding ethical issues in the social work profession. (shrink)
Abstract: The cosmopolitan imagination constructs a world order in which the idea of human rights is an operative principle of justice. Does it also construct an idealisation of human rights? The radicality of Enlightenment cosmopolitanism, as developed by Kant, lay in its analysis of the roots of organised violence in the modern world and its visionary programme for changing the world. Today, the temptation that faces the cosmopolitan imagination is to turn itself into an endorsement of the existing order of (...) human rights without a corresponding critical analysis of the roots of contemporary violence. Is the critical idealism associated with Kantian cosmopolitanism at risk of transmutation into an uncritical positivism? We find two prevailing approaches: either the constitutional framework of the existing world order is presented as the realisation of the cosmopolitan vision, or cosmopolitanism is turned into a utopian vision of a world order in which power is subordinated to the rule of international law. I suggest that the difficulties associated with both wings of cosmopolitanism threaten the legitimacy of the project and call for an understanding and culture of human rights that is less exclusively "conceptual" and more firmly grounded in social theory. (shrink)
The recent, influential Social Intuitionist Model of moral judgment (Haidt, Psychological Review 108, 814–834, 2001) proposes a primary role for fast, automatic and affectively charged moral intuitions in the formation of moral judgments. Haidt’s research challenges our normative conception of ourselves as agents capable of grasping and responding to reasons. We argue that there can be no ‘real’ moral judgments in the absence of a capacity for reflective shaping and endorsement of moral judgments. However, we suggest that the empirical literature (...) indicates a complex interplay between automatic and deliberative mental processes in moral judgment formation, with the latter constraining the expression and influence of moral intuitions. We therefore conclude that the psychological literature supports a normative conception of agency. (shrink)
By recourse to the fundamentals of preference orderings and their numerical representations through linear utility, we address certain questions raised in Nover and Hájek 2004, Hájek and Nover 2006, and Colyvan 2006. In brief, the Pasadena and Altadena games are well-defined and can be assigned any finite utility values while remaining consistent with preferences between those games having well-defined finite expected value. This is also true for the St Petersburg game. Furthermore, the dominance claimed for the Altadena game over the (...) Pasadena game, and that would have been claimed for the St Petersburg game over the Altadena, can be contradicted without fear of inconsistency with the axioms of utility theory. However, insistence upon dominance can be made to yield a contradiction of the Archimedean axiom of utility theory. CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
In the concluding chapter of Exceeding our Grasp Kyle Stanford outlines a positive response to the central issue raised brilliantly by his book, the problem of unconceived alternatives. This response, called "epistemic instrumentalism", relies on a distinction between instrumental and literal belief. We examine this distinction and with it the viability of Stanford's instrumentalism, which may well be another case of exceeding our grasp.
In the concluding chapter of Exceeding our Grasp Kyle Stanford outlines a positive response to the central issue raised brilliantly by his book, the problem of unconceived alternatives. This response, called "epistemicinstrumentalism", relies on a distinction between instrumental and literal belief. We examine this distinction and with it the viability of Stanford's instrumentalism, which may well be another case of exceeding our grasp.
In the May 15, 1935 issue of Physical Review Albert Einstein co-authored a paper with his two postdoctoral research associates at the Institute for Advanced Study, Boris Podolsky and Nathan Rosen. The article was entitled “Can Quantum Mechanical Description of Physical Reality Be Considered Complete?” (Einstein et al. 1935). Generally referred to as “EPR”, this paper quickly became a centerpiece in the debate over the interpretation of the quantum theory, a debate that continues today. The paper features a striking case (...) where two quantum systems interact in such a way as to link both their spatial coordinates in a certain direction and also their linear momenta (in the same direction). As a result of this “entanglement”, determining either position or momentum for one system would fix (respectively) the position or the momentum of the other. EPR use this case to argue that one cannot maintain both an intuitive condition of local action and the completeness of the quantum description by means of the wave function. This entry describes the argument of that 1935 paper, considers several different versions and reactions, and explores the ongoing significance of the issues they raise. (shrink)
A number of recent popular books about gender differences have drawn on the neuroscientific literature to support the claim that certain psychological differences between the sexes are ‘hard-wired’. This article highlights some of the ethical implications that arise from both factual and conceptual errors propagated by such books.
The Oxford Handbooks series is a major new initiative in academic publishing. Each volume offers an authoritative and state-of-the-art survey of current thinking and research in a particular area. Specially commissioned essays from leading international figures in the discipline give critical examinations of the progress and direction of debates. Oxford Handbooks provide scholars and graduate students with compelling new perspectives upon a wide range of subjects in the humanities and social sciences. Plato is the best known, and continues to be (...) the most widely studied, of all the ancient Greek philosophers. The twenty-one newly commissioned articles in the Oxford Handbook of Plato provide in-depth and up-to-date discussions of a variety of topics and dialogues. The result is a useful state-of-the-art reference to the man many consider the most important philosophical thinker in history. Each article is an original contribution from a leading scholar, and they all serve several functions at once: they survey the lay of the land; express and develop the authors' own views; and situate those views within a range of alternatives. This Handbook contains chapters on metaphysics, epistemology, love, language, ethics, politics, art and education. Individual chapters are are devoted to each of the following dialogues: the Republic, Parmenides, Theaetetus, Sophist, Timaeus, and Philebus. There are also chapters on Plato and the dialogue form; on Plato in his time and place; on the history of the Platonic corpus; on Aristotle's criticism of Plato, and on Plato and Platonism. (shrink)
How can a statue and a piece of alloy be coincident at any time at which they exist and yet differ in their modal properties? I argue that this question demands an answer and that the only plausible answer is one that posits a difference in the form of the two objects.
Introducing a new and ambitious position in the field, Kit Fine’s Semantic Relationism is a major contribution to the philosophy of language. Written by one of today’s most respected philosophers Argues for a fundamentally new approach to the study of representation in language and thought Proposes that there may be representational relationships between expressions or elements of thought that are not grounded in the intrinsic representational features of the expressions or elements themselves Forms part of the prestigious new Blackwell/Brown Lectures (...) in Philosophy series, based on an ongoing series of lectures by today’s leading philosophers. (shrink)
Preface : twenty theses on cosmopolitan social theory -- Taking the "ism" out of cosmopolitanism : the equivocations of the new cosmopolitanism -- Confronting reputations : Kant's cosmopolitanism and Hegel's critique -- Cosmopolitanism and political community : the equivocations of constitutional patriotism -- Cosmopolitanism and international law : from the law of peoples to the constitutionalisation of international law -- Cosmopolitanism and humanitarian military intervention : war, peace and human rights -- Cosmopolitanism and punishment : prosecuting crimes against humanity -- (...) Cosmopolitanism and the life of the mind : the critique of reason. (shrink)
According to Haidt's (2001) social intuitionist model (SIM), an individual's moral judgment normally arises from automatic 'moral intuitions'. Private moral reasoning - when it occurs - is biased and post hoc, serving to justify the moral judgment determined by the individual's intuitions. It is argued here, however, that moral reasoning is not inevitably subserviant to moral intuitions in the formation of moral judgments. Social cognitive research shows that moral reasoning may sometimes disrupt the automatic process of judgment formation described by (...) the SIM. Furthermore, it seems that automatic judgments may reflect the 'automatization' of judgment goals based on prior moral reasoning. In line with this role for private moral reasoning in judgment formation, it is argued that moral reasoning can, under the right circumstances, be sufficiently unbiased to effectively challenge an individual's moral beliefs. Thus the social cognitive literature indicates a greater and more direct role for private moral reasoning than the SIM allows. (shrink)
There is a common form of problem, to be found in many areas of philosophy, concerning the relationship between our perspective on reality and reality itself. We make statements (or form judgements) about how things are from a given standpoint or perspective. We make the statement ‘it is raining’ from the standpoint of the present time, for example, or the statement‘it is here’ from the standpoint of where we are, or the statement ‘I am glad’ from the standpoint of a (...) subject. In each of these cases, the statement has a certain ‘aspect’ or perspectival character in virtue of which its truth is capable of varying from one standpoint to another. Thus the statement ‘it is raining’ is tensed, the statement ‘it is here’ is ‘spatiocentric’ and the statement ‘I am glad’ is first-personal. The problem we then face is to determine whether this aspect is a feature of the reality which is described or merely a feature of the statement by which it is described. Is reality itself somehow tensed or spatiocentric or firstpersonal or is it merely that we describe a tenseless or spatially uncentered or impersonal reality from a tensed or spatiocentric or first-personal point of view? (shrink)
It has been conventional to conceptualize civic life through one of two core images: the citizen as lone individualist or the citizen as joiner. Drawing on analyses of the historical development of the public sphere, we propose an alternative analytical framework for civic engagement based on small-group interaction. By embracing this micro-level approach, we contribute to the debate on civil society in three ways. By emphasizing local interaction contexts-the microfoundations of civil society-we treat small groups as a cause, context, and (...) consequence of civic engagement. First, through framing and motivating, groups encourage individuals to participate in public discourse and civic projects. Second, they provide the place and support for that involvement. Third, civic engagement feeds back into the creation of additional groups. A small-groups perspective suggests how civil society can thrive even if formal and institutional associations decline. Instead of indicating a decline in civil society, a proliferation of small groups represents a healthy development in democratic societies, creating cross-cutting networks of affiliation. (shrink)
Plato on Knowledge and Forms brings together a set of connected essays by Gail Fine, in her main area of research since the late 1970s: Plato's metaphysics and epistemology. She discusses central issues in Plato's metaphysics and epistemology, issues concerning the nature and extent of knowledge, and its relation to perception, sensibles, and forms; and issues concerning the nature of forms, such as whether they are universals or particulars, separate or immanent, and whether they are causes. A specially written introduction (...) draws together the themes of the volume, which will reward the attention of anyone interested in Plato or in ancient metaphysics and epistemology. (shrink)
There is a well-known argument from Leibniz's Law for the view that coincident material things may be distinct. For given that they differ in their properties, then how can they be the same? However, many philosophers have suggested that this apparent difference in properties is the product of a linguistic illusion; there is just one thing out there, but different sorts or guises under which it may be described. I attempt to show that this ‘opacity’ defence has intolerable consequences for (...) the functioning of our language and that the original argument should therefore be allowed to stand. (shrink)
Are there, in addition to the various actual objects that make up the world, various possible objects? Are there merely possible people, for example, or merely possible electrons, or even merely possible kinds? We certainly talk as if there were such things. Given a particular sperm and egg, I may wonder whether that particular child which would result from their union would have blue eyes. But if the sperm and egg are never in fact brought together, then there is no (...) actual object that my thought is about.1 Or again, in the semanti cs for modal logic we presuppose an ontology of possibilia twice over.2 For first, we coutenance various possible worlds, in addition to the actual world; and second, each of these worlds is taken to be endowed with its own domai n of objects. These will be the actual objects of the world in question, but they need not be actual simpliciter, i.e., actual objects of our world. W ha t a r e w e t o m a k e o f such discourse? There are four options: (i) the discourse is taken to be unintelligible; (ii) it is taken to be intelligible but nonfactual, i.e. as not in the business of stating facts; (iii) it is taken to be factual but reducible to discourse involving no reference to possibilia; (iv) it is taken to be both factual and irreducible.3 These options range from a fullblooded form of actualism at one extreme to a full-blooded form of possibilism at the other. The two intermediate positions are possibilist in that they accept the intelligibility of possibilist discourse but actualist in that they attempt to dispense with its prima facie commitment to possibilia. All four positions have found advocates in the literature. Quine, in his less irenic moments, favours option (i); Forbes (, p. 94) advocates option (ii), at least for certain parts of possibilist discourse; many philosophers, including Adams  and myself, opt for (iii); while Lewis  and Stalnaker  have endorsed versions of (iv), that differ in how full-blooded they take the possible objects to be.. (shrink)
s theory of cosmopolitan right is widely viewed as the philosophical origin of modern cosmopolitan thought. Hegels critique of Kants theory of cosmopolitan right, by contrast, is usually viewed as regressive and nationalistic in relation to both Kant and the cosmopolitan tradition. This paper reassesses the political and philosophical character of Hegels critique of Kant, Hegels own relation to cosmopolitan thinking, and more fleetingly some of the implications of his critique for contemporary social criticism. It is argued that Hegels critique (...) was neither regressive nor nationalistic, but rather that he advanced the theory of cosmopolitan right beyond the Kantian framework of formal natural law. The main proposition is that Hegel was not only the first to recognize cosmopolitanism as a definite social form of right, relative to other forms in the modern system of right, but that his scientific and objective approach to the issue makes a substantial contribution to restoring the severed connections between the realism of war between nations and the normativism of perpetual peace. Key Words: cosmopolitanism Habermas Hegel Kant nationalism peace right war. (shrink)