It is a mystery why we are bettered by successfully pursuing our projects, even when we fail to attain their objects. Here I propose a solution: when an agent undertakes a project, he constructs a part of himself; to pursue a project successfully is to benefit that part of oneself; and to benefit a part of oneself is to provide some benefit to one’s whole self. I then outline the following considerations in favour of my proposal: our pride towards our (...) accomplishments, the stringent conditions on one’s being a benefactor, and the harm of having one’s projects thwarted. (shrink)
As knowledge creation quickly gains importance for globally active corporations, we attempt to combine the advantages of the Stakeholder View with those of the SECI model by Nonaka and Takeuchi. In order to support the mental processes of the stakeholders, we use so-called topic maps to transform implicit into explicit knowledge and to visualize it. The preliminary propositions are illustrated by the case study of Swiss Re.
In this paper we aim to show that based on an effective stakeholder management corporations are able to build and maintain three important licences tosuccessfully fulfil their fundamental value creation task, namely the licence to operate, the licence to compete and the licence to innovate. The corporation is regarded as an institution engaged in mobilizing resources for productive uses in order to create wealth with and for its stakeholders. Our concept of the three licences is based on the widely discussed (...) (e.g. Bracken, 2003; Buono, 2003; Caldwell, 2004; Jones, Wicks, & Freeman, 2002; Lamont, 2004; Walsh, 2005) “Stakeholder View” framework by Post, et al. (2002) which concerns the firm’s interactions with its stakeholders. Our concept of the three licences is supported by the results of our qualitative case research in the financial services and the telecommunications industry. (shrink)
In this article we explore multiple change operators, i.e., operators in which the epistemic input is a set of sentences instead of a single sentence. We propose two types of change: prioritized change, in which the input set is fully accepted, and symmetric change, where both the epistemic state and the epistemic input are equally treated. In both kinds of operators we propose a set of postulates and we present different constructions: kernel changes and partial meet changes.
We propose a revision operator on a stratified belief base, i.e., a belief base that stores beliefs in different strata corresponding to the value an agent assigns to these beliefs. Furthermore, the operator will be defined as to perform the revision in such a way that information is never lost upon revision but stored in a stratum or layer containing information perceived as having a lower value. In this manner, if the revision of one layer leads to the rejection of (...) some information to maintain consistency, instead of being withdrawn it will be kept and introduced in a different layer with lower value. Throughout this development we will follow the principle of minimal change, being one of the important principles proposed in belief change theory, particularly emphasized in the AGM model. Regarding the reasoning part from the stratified belief base, the agent will obtain the inferences using an argumentative formalism. Thus, the argumentation framework will decide which information prevails when sentences of different layers are used for entailing conflicting beliefs. We will also illustrate how inferences are changed and how the status of arguments can be modified after a revision process. (shrink)
At the very end of the 19th century, Gabriele Tarde wrote that all society was a product of imitation and innovation. This view regarding the development of society has, to a large extent, fallen out of favour, and especially so in those areas where the rational actor model looms large. I argue that this is unfortunate, as models of imitative learning, in some cases, agree better with what people actually do than more sophisticated models of learning. In this paper, (...) I contrast the behaviour of imitative learning with two more sophisticated learning rules (one based on Bayesian updating, the other based on the Nash-Brown-von Neumann dynamics) in the context of social deliberation problems. I show for two social deliberation problems, the Centipede game and a simple Lewis sender-receiver game, that imitative learning provides better agreement with what people actually do, thus partially vindicating Tarde. (shrink)
Much attention in the recent resurgence of interest in virtue ethics has been paid to the virtues. At the same time, however, comparatively little has been written about vices. In Deadly Vices, Gabriele Taylor aims to remedy this by offering a detailed discussion of the vices that are traditionally labeled the seven deadly sins: sloth, envy, avarice, pride, anger, lust, and gluttony. Among her central claims about them is that they are each focused primarily on the self, and that (...) they lead to self-destruction and inhibit our flourishing in ways that we can understand without having to appeal to an objective account of flourishing. Taylor takes her conclusions to “offer at least negative support for some central claims of an Aristotelian-type virtue-theory” (p. 1). (shrink)
In this full length review, I create a running parallel between Martin Kern's Text and Ritual in Early China and Mark Edward Lewis' Writing and Authority in Early China. Both books cover the nexus of texts and their sociopolitical milieu, with Kern's book acting as a sort of update to Lewis'. I group the articles in Kern's book under the following headings: Texts and Authority (Nylan, Falkenhausen, Brashier), Textual Emergence (Boltz, Kern), and Ritual in Literary Genres (Schaberg, Csikszentmihalyi, Gentz), summarizing (...) the content of each article and relating it to Lewis' seminal work. Three further sections, under the heading of "Terminological Precision," are dedicated to issues raised by both books: the performative in ritual (gestures that presuppose a common set of cultural norms and that gain their efficacy from general community acceptance of such norms), the ritual (and performative) dimension of divination, and a functionalist perspective on ritual. (shrink)
Gabriele Taylor presents a philosophical investigation of the "ordinary" vices traditionally seen as "death to the soul": sloth, envy, avarice, pride, anger, lust, and gluttony. In the course of a richly detailed discussion of individual and interrelated vices, which complements recent work by moral philosophers on virtue, she shows why these "deadly sins" are correctly so named and grouped together.
The emergent use of service robots in more and more areas of social life raises a number of legal issues which have to be addressed in order to apply and adapt the existing legal framework to this new technology. The article provides an overview of law as a means to regulate and govern technology and discusses fundamental issues of the relationship between law and technology. It then goes on to address a number of relevant problems in the field of service (...) robotics. In particular, these issues include the organization of administrative control and the legal liability regime which applies to service robots. Also, the issue of autonomy of service robots is discussed, which cannot easily be answered under the existing, human-centered legal regime. (shrink)
I review Gabriel Richardson Lear's excellent essay on Aristotle’s conception of the human good. She solves some long-standing problems in the interpretation of Aristotle’s ethics by drawing on resources in his natural philosophy and Plato’s conception of love. Her interpretation is a compelling and, to my mind, largely true account of Aristotle’s view. In this review, I summarize the book's main argument and then explain two fundamental points on which I have concerns.
The question of personal immortality is a central one for Gabriel Marcel. Early in his life he took part in parapsychological experiments which convincedhim that one could, rarely and with great difficulty, communicate with the dead. In a philosophical vein he argued that each self has an eternal dimension which isof eternal worth. This dimension is particularly manifest in self-sacrifice, where I find it meaningful to give my life for another and when I unconditionally commitment myself in love to another (...) self. Marcel also cites the experience of trust or hope, and the experience that life is not an absurd freak accident of nature destined for eternal extinction but rather possesses absolute meaning and value. Yet, none of the above experiences involves certitude; one remains free to accept or reject them and what they claim to involve. (shrink)
This paper examines the postmodern question of the otherness of the other from the perspective of Gabriel Marcel’s philosophy. Postmodernity—typified by philosophical movements like deconstruction—has framed the question of otherness in all-or-nothing terms; either the other is absolutely, wholly other or the other is not other at all. On the deconstructive account, the latter position amounts to a kind of “violence” against the other. Marcel’s philosophy offers an alternative to this all-or-nothing model of otherness. His thought can satisfy the fundamental (...) (and legitimate) ethical and philosophical concerns of postmodern thinkers without resorting to the paroxysmal hyperbole that characterizes philosophies of absolute otherness. Moreover, Marcel’s critique of the “spirit of abstraction” offers a unique perspective on what might motivate such paroxysmal hyperbole. (shrink)
In the post-September 11, 2001 world in which we live, French existentialist playwright and philosopher Gabriel Marcel’s works are especially relevant. Hisincreased popularity reflects both student and faculty interest in questions he raises about issues that remain vital concerns in our lives. Plays focusing on questions about life’s meaning, connected with insights from his philosophic essays, illustrate how Marcel engages personal reflection to clarify challenging situations. He uses dramatic imagination to investigate conflicting viewpoints, inviting the viewers to examine their unique (...) experience of the issues portrayed. Thus his individual journey to consciousness welcomes others to develop their own. Today’s classrooms also benefit from a greater availability of Marcel’s translated works in the form of books, scripts, videos, CDs, and Readers’ Theatre performances. (shrink)
Gabriel Marcel is not typically read as a political theorist and social commentator. He never wrote a treatise devoted specifically to a systematic treatmentof politics. His writings, nevertheless, abound in political theorizing and social analysis. This study articulates Marcel’s socio-political thought, explicating itscoherence with his overall concrete philosophy and with his personal engagement in political events of his time. It develops through three themes. The first details Marcel’s particular approach to sociopolitical thought as a “watchman.” The second shows why Marcel (...) offers a “hopeful communitarianism” which overcomes the problems of collectivism and individualism. The third delineates Marcel’s views on the concrete, socio-political, and ethical issues of peace and population control. A brief closing section explains the importance of politics in Marcelian scholarship and the “prophetic” quality of his thought. (shrink)
The following article discusses a certain concrete ethical-historical sensibility that opens, in part, in the work of Hegel and serves as an introduction to two figures of spirit beyond Hegel’s onto-theological thought: namely, Frantz Fanon and Gabriel García Márquez. The discussion seeks to introduce a “thinking sensibility,” i.e., an opening toward the articulate understanding of history in and through its singularities. This figures a space for a way of thinking arising in the concrete unfolding of spirits out of singularities that (...) overwhelm any single or universal call for unity. In terms of history, this concerns not a thinking that gives sense to history through concepts, but a thought that from its specificity and situation unfolds diverse articulations, and hence configurations of the senses of spirit or histories. (shrink)
The idea of ‘hope’ has received significant attention in the political sphere recently. But is hope just wishful thinking, or can it be something more than a political catch-phrase? This book argues that hope can be understood existentially, or on the basis of what it means to be human. Under this conception of hope, given to us by Gabriel Marcel, hope is not optimism, but the creation of ways for us to flourish. War, poverty and an absolute reliance on technology (...) are real-life evils that can suffocate hope. Marcel’s thought provides a way to overcome these negative experiences. An ethics of hope can function as an alternative to isolation, dread, and anguish offered by most existentialists. This book presents Marcel’s existentialism as a convincing, relevant moral theory; founded on the creation of hope, interwoven with the individual’s response to the death of God. Jill Hernandez argues that today’s reader of Marcel can resonate with his belief that the experience of pain can be transcended through a philosophy of hope and an escape from materialism. (shrink)
Gabriel Marcel spent most of his life developing a phenomenology of human intersubjectivity. While doing so he discovered the extent to which an authentic human community depends upon the relationship it has to nonhuman nature. By exploring Marcel’s critique of technology, as well as his religious phenomenology, I show the proximity to which Marcel’s philosophy approaches the currentegalitarian response of the radical ecology movement. Even though the bulk of Marcel’s work is concerned with human intersubjectivity, his writings advocate a transcendence (...) of anthropocentricism to what Marcel calls “cosmocentricism,” an existential attitude toward the world which submits to the sacredness of all beings, as well as to the bioregions within which all earthly creatures share the sacraments of life. (shrink)
My two daughters would love to go tobogganing down the hill by themselves, but they are just toddlers and I am an apprehensive parent, so, before letting them do so, I want to ensure that the toboggan won’t go too fast. But how fast will it go? One way to try to answer this question would be to tackle the problem head on. Since my daughters and their toboggan are initially at rest, according to classical mechanics, their final velocity will (...) be determined by the forces they will be subjected to between the moment the toboggan will be released at the top of the hill and the moment it will reach its highest speed. The problem is that, throughout their downhill journey, my daughters and the toboggan will be subjected to an incredibly large number of forces—from the gravitational pull of any massive object in the universe to the weight of the snowflake that is sitting on the tip of one of my youngest daughter’s hairs—so that any attempt to apply the theory directly to the real-world system in all its complexity seems to be doomed to failure. (shrink)
In this paper, I distinguish scientific models in three kinds on the basis of their ontological status—material models, mathematical models and fictional models, and develop and defend an account of fictional models as fictional objects—i.e. abstract objects that stand for possible concrete objects.
In this paper, I distinguish between two varieties of actualism—hardcore actualism and softcore actualism—and I critically discuss Ross Cameron’s recent arguments for preferring a softcore actualist account of the truthmakers for modal truths over hardcore actualist ones. In the process, I offer some arguments for preferring the hardcore actualist account of modal truthmakers over the softcore actualist one.
The Simple Counterfactual Analysis (SCA) was once considered the most promising analysis of disposition ascriptions. According to SCA, disposition ascriptions are to be analyzed in terms of counterfactual conditionals. In the last few decades, however, SCA has become the target of a battery of counterexamples. In all counterexamples, something seems to be interfering with a certain object’s having or not having a certain disposition thus making the truth-values of the disposition ascription and of its associated counterfactual come apart. Intuitively, however, (...) it would seem that, if all interferences were absent, the disposition ascription and its associated conditional would have the same truth-value. Although this idea may seem obvious, it is far from obvious how to implement it. In fact, it is has become widely assumed that the content of qualifying ceteris paribus clauses (such as ‘if all interfer-ences were absent’) cannot be specified in a clear and non-circular manner. In this paper, I will argue that this assumption is wrong. I will develop an analysis of disposition ascriptions, the Interference-Free Counterfactual Analysis (IFCA), which relies on a clear and non-circular definition of the notion of interference and avoids the standard counterexamples to SCA while vindicating the intuition that disposition ascriptions and counterfactual conditionals are intimately related. (shrink)
Today most philosophers of science believe that models play a central role in science and that one of the main functions of scientific models is to represent systems in the world. Despite much talk of models and representation, however, it is not yet clear what representation in this context amounts to nor what conditions a certain model needs to meet in order to be a representation of a certain system. In this thesis, I address these two questions. First, I will (...) distinguish three senses in which something, a vehicle, can be said to be a representation of something else, a target—which I will call respectively denotation, epistemic representation, and faithful epistemic representation—and I will argue that the last two senses are the most important in this context. I will then outline a general account of what makes a vehicle an epistemic representation of a certain target for a certain user—which, according to the account I defend, is the fact that a user adopts what I call an interpretation of the vehicle in terms of the target—and of what makes an epistemic representation of a certain target a faithful epistemic representation of it—which, according to the account I defend, is a specific sort of structural similarity between the vehicle and the target. (shrink)
In this paper, I distinguish two often-conflated theses—the thesis that all dispositions are intrinsic properties and the thesis that the causal bases of all dispositions are intrinsic properties—and argue that the falsity of the former does not entail the falsity of the latter. In particular, I argue that extrinsic dispositions are a counterexample to first thesis but not necessarily to the second thesis, because an extrinsic disposition does not need to include any extrinsic property in its causal basis. I conclude (...) by drawing some general lessons about the nature of dispositions and their relation to their causal bases. (shrink)
In this paper, I develop Mauricio Suárez’s distinction between denotation, epistemic representation, and faithful epistemic representation. I then outline an interpretational account of epistemic representation, according to which a vehicle represents a target for a certain user if and only if the user adopts an interpretation of the vehicle in terms of the target, which would allow them to perform valid (but not necessarily sound) surrogative inferences from the model to the system. The main difference between the interpretational conception I (...) defend here and Suárez’s inferential conception is that the interpretational account is a substantial account—interpretation is not just a “symptom” of representation; it is what makes something an epistemic representation of a something else. (shrink)
This discussion of pride, shame, and guilt centers on the beliefs involved in the experience of any of these emotions. Through a detailed study, the author demonstrates how these beliefs are alike--in that they are all directed towards the self--and how they differ. The experience of these three emotions are illustrated by examples taken from English literature. These concrete cases supply a context for study and indicate the complexity of the situations in which these emotions usually occur.
In this paper, I argue that, contrary to the constructive empiricist’s position, observability is not an adequate criterion as a guide to ontological commitment in science. My argument has two parts. First, I argue that the constructive empiricist’s choice of observability as a criterion for ontological commitment is based on the assumption that belief in the existence of unobservable entities is unreasonable because belief in the existence of an entity can only be vindicated by its observation. Second, I argue that (...) the kind of ontological commitment that is under consideration when accepting a scientific theory is commitment to what I call theoretical kinds and that observation can vindicate commitment to kinds only in exceptional cases. (shrink)
The main aim of this paper is to disentangle three senses in which we can say that a model represents a system—denotation epistemic representation, and successful epistemic representation--and to individuate what questions arise from each sense of the notion of representation as used in this context. Also, I argue that a model is an epistemic representation of a system only if a user adopts a general interpretation of the model in terms of a system. In the process, I hope to (...) clarify where those who, following Craig Callander and Jonathan Cohen, claim that there is no special problem about scientific representation go wrong. In the terminology adopted here, even if scientific representation is only an instance of epistemic representation, scientific representation should not be confounded with denotation. (shrink)
The thesis that a temporal asymmetry of counterfactual dependence characterizes our world plays a central role in Lewis’s philosophy, as. among other things, it underpins one of Lewis most renowned theses—that causation can be analyzed in terms of counterfactual dependence. To maintain that a temporal asymmetry of counterfactual dependence characterizes our world, Lewis committed himself to two other theses. The first is that the closest possible worlds at which the antecedent of a counterfactual conditional is true is one in which (...) a small miracle occurs—i.e. one whose laws differ from the actual laws in a small spatiotemporal region. The second is that our world is characterized by a temporal asymmetry of miracles. In this paper, I will argue, first, that the latter thesis is either false or incompatible with the picture of the relations among temporal asymmetries endorsed by Lewis and, second, that former thesis conflicts with some of the intuitions which seem to guide us when engaging in counterfactual reasoning. If there is any fact of the matter as to which possible worlds in which the antecedent of a counterfactual conditional is true are closest to the actual world, these are not worlds at which a small miracle occurs. (shrink)
This is the first book to explore the cognitive science of effortless attention and action. Attention and action are generally understood to require effort, and the expectation is that under normal circumstances effort increases to meet rising demand. Sometimes, however, attention and action seem to flow effortlessly despite high demand. Effortless attention and action have been documented across a range of normal activities--from rock climbing to chess playing--and yet fundamental questions about the cognitive science of effortlessness have gone largely unasked. (...) -/- This book draws from the disciplines of cognitive psychology, neurophysiology, behavioral psychology, genetics, philosophy, and cross-cultural studies. Starting from the premise that the phenomena of effortless attention and action provide an opportunity to test current models of attention and action, leading researchers from around the world examine topics including effort as a cognitive resource, the role of effort in decision making, the neurophysiology of effortless attention and action, the role of automaticity in effortless action, expert performance in effortless action, and the neurophysiology and benefits of attentional training. -/- Contributors: Joshua M. Ackerman, James H. Austin, John A. Bargh, Roy F. Baumeister, Sian L. Beilock, Chris Blais, Matthew M. Botvinick, Brian Bruya, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Marci S. DeCaro, Arne Dietrich, Yuri Dormashev, László Harmat, Bernhard Hommel, Rebecca Lewthwaite, Örjan de Manzano, Joseph T. McGuire, Brian P. Meier, Arlen C. Moller, Jeanne Nakamura, Evgeny N. Osin, Michael I. Posner, Mary K. Rothbart, M. R. Rueda, Brandon J. Schmeichel, Edward Slingerland, Oliver Stoll, Yiyuan Tang, Töres Theorell, Fredrik Ullén, Robert D. Wall, Gabriele Wulf. (shrink)
John Campbell proposed a so-called simple view of colours according to which colours are categorical properties of the surfaces of objects just as they normally appear to be. I raised an invertion problem for Campbell's view according to which the senses of colour terms fail to match their references, thus rendering those terms meaningless—or so I claimed. Gabriele de Anna defended Campbell's view against my example by contesting two points in particular. Firstly, de Anna claimed that there is no (...) special problem here for the simple view of colours, a similar invertion story could apply to primary qualities terms for shapes. Secondly, de Anna purported to give an account of the senses and references of colour terms in my invertion story which renders the senses and references of those terms mutually consistent. In this paper I contested both of de Anna's claims. Regarding the first, I argue that his imagined invertion of apparent shapes is not epistemically stable, in contrast to the invertion of apparent shapes is not epistemically stable, in contrast to the invertion of apparent colours. Hence the victims of apparently inverted shapes would be able to discover the mismatch of senses and refences of their shape terms, in contrast to the victims of apparent invertions of colours. Regarding the second, I argue that de Anna's account of the victim's colour terms itself uses and not merely mentions so-called colours terms. Hence de Anna' account of them is itself meaningless due to a mismatch of sense and reference. So I conclude that my objection to Campbell's simple view of colours stands. (shrink)