This article reports on the development of the managerial ethical profile (MEP) scale. The MEP scale is a multilevel, self-reporting scale measuring the perceived influence that different dimensions of common ethical frameworks have on managerial decision making. The MEP scale measures on eight subscales: economic egoism, reputational egoism, act utilitarianism, rule utilitarianism, self-virtue of self, virtue of others, act deontology, and rule deontology. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was used to provide evidence of scale validity. Future research needs and the value (...) of this measure for business ethics are discussed. (shrink)
I never met Gian-Carlo Rota but I have often made references to his writings on the philosophy of mathematics, sometimes agreeing, sometimes disagreeing. In this paper I will discuss his views concerning four questions: the existence of mathematical objects, definition in mathematics, the notion of proof, the relation of philosophy of mathematics to mathematics.
Double-entry accounting, with its method for the objective calculation of profits and system of capital accounting, is often seen as closely linked with our modern-day system of capitalism. Questions regarding the role of profits are at the center of many debates on "business ethics." Luca Pacioli, a 15th century Franciscan friar, is recognized as the "father of accounting" because he published the first description of the double-entry system. However, Pacioli's "ethical" views have not been as broadly recognized. The main (...) purpose of this paper is to present and discuss Pacioli's views on the conduct of business enterprise and the pursuit of business profits. (shrink)
Do trees of life have roots? What do these roots look like? In this contribution, I argue that research on the origins of life might offer glimpses on the topology of these very roots. More specifically, I argue (1) that the roots of the tree of life go well below the level of the commonly mentioned ‘ancestral organisms’ down into the level of much simpler, minimally living entities that might be referred to as ‘protoliving systems’, and (2) that further below, (...) a system of roots gradually dissolves into non-living matter along several functional dimensions. In between non-living and living matter, one finds physico-chemical systems that I propose to characterize by a ‘lifeness signature’. In turn, this ‘lifeness signature’ might also account for a diverse range of biochemical entities that are found to be ‘less-than-living’ yet ‘more-than-non-living’. (shrink)
Lucas Swaine?s respectful manner of engaging with theocrats is at odds with the more heavy-handed arguments he gives to those who would reject his position. Furthermore, it is not clear that Swaine?s case can reach theocrats whose self-conceptions do not fit within the liberal idiom.
Frank Jackson’s knowledge argument (KA) aims to prove, by means of a thought experiment concerning the hypothetical scientist Mary, that conscious experiences have non-physical properties, called qualia. Mary has complete scientific knowledge of colours and colour vision without having had any colour experience. The central intuition in the KA is that, by seeing colours, Mary will learn what it is like to have colour experiences. Therefore, her scientific knowledge is incomplete, and conscious experiences have qualia. In this paper I consider (...) an objection to the KA raised by Daniel Dennett. He maintains that the KA is vitiated by Jackson’s account of Mary’s scientific knowledge. While endorsing this criticism, I will defend the plausibility and relevance of the type of strategy involved in the KA by offering an account of Mary’s scientific knowledge. This account involves formulating a reasonable and not immediately false version of the physicalist thesis with regard to colour experiences. Whether this version of the KA is successful against this type of physicalism is not investigated here. (shrink)
Physicalism in philosophy of mind is the doctrine that mental states and processes, if they are something, are physical states and processes. Notoriously, Frank Jackson has attacked physicalism with the knowledge argument. This paper does not consider whether the knowledge argument is successful. Instead, the author argues that the ability reply to the knowledge argument fails. The central assumption of this objection is that Mary, by having colour experiences, acquires a set of abilities rather than new beliefs as required by (...) the knowledge argument. Against the ability reply, it is maintained that Mary on her release acquires new beliefs about objects looking the same colour. As a preliminary, it is shown, against an important criticism of the knowledge argument, that we can make sense of what Mary knows about colour experience when in the black-and-white laboratory. (shrink)
How can we account for the categorical force of the norms of rationality and morality? Some philosophers have argued that the grounds of these unconditional oughts are to be found in the nature of agency.2 In a rough outline, their basic claim is that the norms and requirements of practical rationality and morality can be derived from the constitutive features of agency. Hence, a systematic failure to be guided by these requirements amounts to a loss of agency. But there is (...) a sense in which we cannot but be agents. From which it follows that we are necessarily bound by the oughts of rationality and morality, we are bound by them sans phrase. 1.2 The success of this argumentative strategy—which goes under the name of ʻconstitutivismʼ—depends on establishing the following two claims. First, that the norms of rationality and morality can be derived from the constitutive features of agency. Second, that we cannot but be agents, that agency is non-optional. (shrink)
According to Jim Pryor’s dogmatism, when you have an experience with content p, you have prima facie justification to believe p that does not rest on your independent justification or evidence to believe any proposition. Although dogmatism is intuitive and seems to have an antisceptical punch, it has been targeted by different objections. In this paper I aim to answer the objections by Roger White according to which dogmatism is incoherent with the Bayesian account of how evidence affects rational credences. (...) If this were true, the rational acceptability of dogmatism would be seriously questionable. I respond that these objections don’t get off the ground because they assume that experiences and reports of experience have the same evidential force, whereas the dogmatist is uncommitted to this assumption. I also elucidate what gives dogmatism its antisceptical punch by drawing from recent papers by Brian Weatherson, Peter Kung and Pryor himself in which alternative responses to White’s challenge are delineated. I argue that my rejoinder is more complete and simpler than these responses, for the latter permit White’s objections to go through in many cases, whereas my response doesn’t. Furthermore according to these responses, dogmatism is tenable only if Bayesianism is replaced with alternative formal frameworks, which is not a requirement of my rejoinder. (shrink)
We shall argue that the attempt carried out by certain philosophers in this century to parrot the language, the method, and the results of mathematics has harmed philosophy. Such an attempt results from a misunderstanding of both mathematics and philosophy, and has harmed both subjects.
1.1.1 In a recent series of papers, G.A. Cohen has presented an egalitarian interpretation of the Difference Principle (hereafter, DP).1 According to this principle—first introduced by Rawls in A Theory of Justice2—inequalities in the distribution of primary goods3 are legitimate only to the extent that they maximize the prospects of the least advantaged members of society. Cohen argues that, once it is properly applied, DP does not legitimate any departure from equality. According to him, the distribution that maximizes the prospects (...) of the least advantaged is the equal distribution. Cohen has offered two kinds of argument in support of the egalitarian conclusion. According to the first argument, differential incentives are not necessary in order to maximize efficiency. According to the second argument, principles of distributive justice apply not only to the basic structure of society but also to the choices made by individuals within those rules. Therefore, talented people should not seek to maximize the gains they can get on the market, thereby making more social product available for the less well off. 4 In this paper, I focus only on Cohen’s first argument. The interesting feature of this argument is that it is presented as an internal criticism of Rawls’ theory of justice. My present concern is to understand to what extent the DP embodies an idea of equality and it is thus amenable to the egalitarian interpretation. I will argue that the first argument fails and that DP allows for the inequalities generated by the use of incentives. The assessment of the second argument merits a separate discussion that I intend to take up in a sequel to this paper. For the time being, I take not stance on the effect of the refutation of the first egalitarian argument on the success of the second one. In this work, I am rather concerned with articulating a novel.. (shrink)
According to the iterative conception of set, sets can be arranged in a cumulative hierarchy divided into levels. But why should we think this to be the case? The standard answer in the philosophical literature is that sets are somehow constituted by their members. In the first part of the paper, I present a number of problems for this answer, paying special attention to the view that sets are metaphysically dependent upon their members. In the second part of the paper, (...) I outline a different approach, which circumvents these problems by dispensing with the priority or dependence relation altogether. Along the way, I show how this approach enables the mathematical structuralist to defuse an objection recently raised against her view. (shrink)
I focus on a key argument for global external world scepticism resting on the underdetermination thesis: the argument according to which we cannot know any proposition about our physical environment because sense evidence for it equally justifies some sceptical alternative (e.g. the Cartesian demon conjecture). I contend that the underdetermination argument can go through only if the controversial thesis that conceivability is per se a source of evidence for metaphysical possibility is true. I also suggest a reason to doubt that (...) conceivability is per se a source of evidence for metaphysical possibility, and thus to doubt the underdetermination argument. (shrink)
Beall and Restall 2000; 2001; 2006 advocate a comprehensive pluralist approach to logic, which they call Logical Pluralism, according to which there is not one true logic but many equally acceptable logical systems. They maintain that Logical Pluralism is compatible with monism about metaphysical modality, according to which there is just one correct logic of metaphysical modality. Wyatt 2004 contends that Logical Pluralism is incompatible with monism about metaphysical modality. We first suggest that if Wyatt were right, Logical Pluralism would (...) be strongly implausible because it would get upside down a dependence relation that holds between metaphysics and logic of modality. We then argue that Logical Pluralism is prima facie compatible with monism about metaphysical modality. (shrink)
It has been observed that whereas painters and musicians are likely to be embarrassed by references to the beauty in their work, mathematicians instead like to engage in discussions of the beauty of mathematics. Professional artists are more likely to stress the technical rather than the aesthetic aspects of their work. Mathematicians, instead, are fond of passing judgment on the beauty of their favored pieces of mathematics. Even a cursory observation shows that the characteristics of mathematical beauty are at variance (...) with those of artistic beauty. For example, courses in art appreciation are fairly common; it is however unthinkable to find any mathematical beauty appreciation courses taught anywhere. The purpose of the present paper is to try to uncover the sense of the term beauty as it is currently used by mathematicians. (shrink)
Crispin Wright has given an explanation of how a first time warrant can fall short of transmitting across a known entailment. Formal epistemologists have struggled to turn Wright’s informal explanation into cogent Bayesian reasoning. In this paper, I analyse two Bayesian models of Wright’s account respectively proposed by Samir Okasha and Jake Chandler. I argue that both formalizations are unsatisfactory for different reasons, and I lay down a third Bayesian model that appears to me to capture the valid kernel of (...) Wright’s explanation. After this, I consider a recent development in Wright’s account of transmission failure. Wright suggests that his condition sufficient for transmission failure of first time warrant also suffices for transmission failure of supplementary warrant. I propose an interpretation of Wright’s suggestion that shield it from objections. I then lay down a fourth Bayesian framework that provides a simplified model of the unified explanation of transmission failure envisaged by Wright. (shrink)
In this paper we focus on transmission and failure of transmission of warrant. We identify three individually necessary and jointly sufficient conditions for transmission of warrant, and we show that their satisfaction grounds a number of interesting epistemic phenomena that have not been sufficiently appreciated in the literature. We then scrutinise Wright's analysis of transmission failure and improve on extant readings of it. Nonetheless, we present a Bayesian counterexample that shows that Wright's analysis is partially incoherent with our analysis of (...) warrant transmission and prima facie defective. We conclude exploring three alternative lines of reply: developing a more satisfactory account of transmission failure, which we outline; dismissing the Bayesian counterexample by rejecting some of its assumptions; reinterpreting Wright’s analysis to make it immune to the counterexample. (shrink)
The contextual contributions to meaning are at the core of the debate about the semantics/pragmatics distinction, one of the liveliest topics in current philosophy of language and linguistics. The controversy between semantic minimalists and contextualists regarding context and semantic content is a conspicuous example of the debate's relevance. This collection of essays, written by leading philosophers as well as talented young researchers, offers new approaches to the ongoing discussion about the status of lexical meaning and the role of context dependence (...) in linguistic theorizing. It covers a broad range of issues in semantics and pragmatics such as presuppositions, reference, lexical meaning, discourse relations and information structure, negation, and metaphors. The book is an essential reading for philosophers, linguists, and graduate students of philosophy of language and linguistics. (shrink)
Frank Jackson’s knowledge argument and different conceivability arguments, advanced by Saul Kripke, David Chalmers and Joseph Levine, conclude that consciousness involves non-physical properties or properties that cannot be reductively accounted for in physical terms. Some physicalists have replied to these objections by means of different versions of the phenomenal concept strategy. David Chalmers has responded with the master argument, a reasoning that, if successful, would undermine any reasonable version of the phenomenal concept strategy. In this paper, I argue that the (...) master argument does not advance the debate between the supporters of the anti-physicalist arguments and those of the phenomenal concept strategy. (shrink)
Frank Jackson’s knowledge argument is a very influential piece of reasoning that seeks to show that colour experiences constitute an insoluble problem for science. This argument is based on a thought experiment concerning Mary. She is a vision scientist who has complete scientific knowledge of colours and colour vision but has never had colour experiences. According to Jackson, upon seeing coloured objects, Mary acquires new knowledge that escapes her complete scientific knowledge. He concludes that there are facts concerning colour experiences (...) that scientific knowledge can neither describe nor explain. Specifically, these facts involve the occurrence of certain non-physical properties of experiences that he calls qualia. The present research considers whether a plausible formulation of the hypothesis that science can accommodate colour experiences is threatened by a version of the knowledge argument. The specific formulation of this problem has two motivations. Firstly, before investigating whether the knowledge argument raises a problem for the claim that science can account for colour experiences, we need a plausible formulation of this claim. I argue that the idea that science can accommodate colour experiences can be formulated as the modest reductionism hypothesis. Roughly speaking, this is the hypothesis that a science that can be explanatory interfaced with current physics of ordinary matter can account for conscious experiences. Secondly, an unintelligible premise figures in Jackson’s version the knowledge argument. Namely, it is assumed that Mary possesses a complete (future or possible) scientific knowledge. Nevertheless, the type of strategy involved in Jackson’s argument can be used to target modest reductionism. By considering contemporary psychophysics and neuroscience, I characterise Mary’s scientific knowledge. First, this characterisation is intelligible. In fact, it is elaborated on the basis of descriptions and explanations of colour experiences involved in current physics and neuroscience. Second, a supporter of modest reductionism can assume that the scientific knowledge ascribed to Mary might account for colour experiences. The main conclusion of the present research is that our version of the knowledge argument fails to threaten the modest reductionism hypothesis. In fact, I endorse what can be called the “two ways of thinking” reply to the knowledge argument. According to this response, the knowledge argument shows that there are different ways of thinking about colour experiences. One way of thinking is provided by scientific knowledge. The other way of thinking is provided by our ordinary conception of colour experiences. However, the existence of these two ways of thinking does not imply the existence of facts and properties that escape scientific knowledge. It might be the case that the ordinary way of thinking about colour experience concerns facts and properties described and explained by science. The principal conclusion of the research results from two investigations. The first line of research aims to reveal and evaluate the implicit assumptions that figure in the knowledge argument. The main body of the research is dedicated to this task. The principal result of this investigation is that the knowledge argument must rely on an account of introspective knowledge of colour experiences. I argue that an inferential model of introspection provides such account. On this model, Mary’s capacity to hold beliefs about her colour experiences when she sees coloured objects requires her mastery of colour concepts. The second main investigation seeks to justify the two ways of thinking strategy. As many opponents and supporters have recently started to realise, this strategy might be charged with being ad hoc. I offer a distinctive justification of this reply to the knowledge argument. Assuming the account of introspection mentioned above, the existence of visual recognitional colour concepts might justify this strategy. A person possesses these concepts when she is able to determine the colours of objects simply by having visual experiences. (shrink)
Throughout history, dance has maintained a critical presence across all human cultures, defying barriers of class, race, and status. How dance has synergistically co-evolved with humans has fueled a rich debate on the function of art and the essence of aesthetic experience, engaging numerous artists, historians, philosophers, and scientists. While dance shares many features with other art forms, one attribute unique to dance is that it is most commonly expressed with the human body. Because of this, social scientists and neuroscientists (...) are turning to dance and dancers to help answer questions of how the brain coordinates the body to perform complex, precise, and beautiful movements. In the present paper, we discuss how recent advances in neuroscientific methods provide the tools to advance our understanding of not only the cerebral phenomena associated with dance learning and observation but also the neural underpinnings of aesthetic appreciation associated with watching dance. We suggest that future work within the fields of dance neuroscience and neuroaesthetics have the potential to provide mutual benefits to both the scientific and artistic communities. (shrink)
The metamathematical theorems of Gödel and Church are frequently applied to the philosophy of mind, typically as rational evidence against mechanism. Using methods of Post and Smullyan, these results are presented as purely mathematical theorems and various such applications are discussed critically. In particular, J. Lucas's use of Gödel's theorem to distinguish between conscious and unconscious beings is refuted, while more generally, attempts to extract philosophy from metamathematics are shown to involve only dramatizations of the constructivity problem in foundations. More (...) specifically, philosophical extrapolations from metamathematics are shown to involve premature extensions of Church's thesis. (shrink)
This article aims at reconstructing the logic and assessing the force of Socrates' argument against Protagoras' 'Measure Doctrine' (MD) at Theaetetus 171a–c. I examine and criticise some influential interpretations of the passage, according to which, e.g., Socrates is guilty of ignoratio elenchi by dropping the essential Protagorean qualifiers or successfully proves that md is self-refuting provided the missing qualifiers are restored by the attentive reader. Having clarified the meaning of MD, I analyse in detail the broader section 170a–171d and argue, (...) against an extensive scholarly consensus, (1) that it contains two slightly different formulations of the same argument, and not two (or three) distinct arguments, (2) that Socrates does not highlight his own strategy at 171a–c as especially clever, and (3) that his argument successfully shows that md turns out to be untenable for Protagoras himself when submitted to scrutiny in dialectical contexts, without aiming at proving its absolute falsehood. Finally, I clarify the philosophical import of the final image of Protagoras' momentary return from the underworld. (shrink)
Measurement is a process aimed at acquiring and codifying information about properties of empirical entities. In this paper we provide an interpretation of such a process comparing it with what is nowadays considered the standard measurement theory, i.e., representational theory of measurement. It is maintained here that this theory has its own merits but it is incomplete and too abstract, its main weakness being the scant attention reserved to the empirical side of measurement, i.e., to measurement systems and to the (...) ways in which the interactions of such systems with the entities under measurement provide a structure to an empirical domain. In particular it is claimed that (1) it is on the ground of the interaction with a measurement system that a partition can be induced on the domain of entities under measurement and that relations among such entities can be established, and that (2) it is the usage of measurement systems that guarantees a degree of objectivity and intersubjectivity to measurement results. As modeled in this paper, measurement systems link the abstract theory of measuring, as developed in representational terms, and the practice of measuring, as coded in standard documents such as the International Vocabulary of Metrology. (shrink)
A book symposium on Peter, Carruthers. Phenomenal Consciousness: A Naturalistic Theory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000. Contents: Author's précis Colin Allen, Evolving Phenomenal Consciousness - Carruthers's reply. José Luis Bermúdez, Commentary - Carruthers's reply - Reply to Carruthers: Properties, first-order representationalism and reinforcement. Joseph Levine, Commentary - Carruthers's reply. William Seager, Dispositions and Consciousness - Carruthers's reply.
What is quantum mechanics about? The most natural way to interpret quantum mechanics realistically as a theory about the world might seem to be what is called wave function ontology: the view according to which the wave function mathematically represents in a complete way fundamentally all there is in the world. Erwin Schroedinger was one of the first proponents of such a view, but he dismissed it after he realized it led to macroscopic superpositions (if the wave function evolves in (...) time according to the equations that has his name). The Many-Worlds interpretation1 accepts the existence of such macroscopic superpositions but takes it that they can never be observed. Superposed objects and superposed observers split together in different worlds of the type of the one we appear to live in. For these who, like Schroedinger, think that macroscopic superpositions are a problem, the common wisdom is that there are two alternative views: "Either the wave function, as given by the Schroedinger equation, is not everything, or is not right" [Bell 1987]. The deBroglie-Bohm theory, now commonly known as Bohmian Mechanics, takes the first option: the description provided by a Schroedinger-evolving wave function is supplemented by the information provided by the configuration of the particles. The second possibility consists in assuming that, while the wave function provides the complete description of the system, its temporal evolution is not given by the Schroedinger equation. Rather, the usual Schroedinger evolution is interrupted by random and sudden "collapses". The most promising theory of this kind is the GRW theory, named after the scientists that developed it: Gian Carlo Ghirardi, Alberto Rimini and Tullio Weber.. It seems tempting to think that in GRW we can take the wave function ontologically seriously and avoid the problem of macroscopic superpositions just allowing for quantum jumps. In this paper we will argue that such "bare" wave function ontology is not possible, neither for GRW nor for any other quantum theory: quantum mechanics cannot be about the wave function simpliciter. That is, we need more structure than the one provided by the wave function. As a response, quantum theories about the wave function can be supplemented with structure, without taking it as an additional ontology. We argue in reply that such "dressed-up" versions of wave function ontology are not sensible, since they compromise the acceptability of the theory as a satisfactory fundamental physical theory. Therefore we maintain that: 1- Strictly speaking, it is not possible to interpret quantum theories as theories about the wave function; 2- Even if the wave function is supplemented by additional non-ontological structures, there are reasons not to take the resulting theory seriously. Moreover, we will argue that any of the traditional responses to the measurement problem of quantum mechanics (Bohmian mechanics, GRW and Many-Worlds), contrarily to what commonly believed, share a common structure. That is, we maintain that: 3- All quantum theories should be regarded as theories in which physical objects are constituted by a primitive ontology. The primitive ontology is mathematically represented in the theory by a mathematical entity in three-dimensional space, or space-time. (shrink)
Do moral appraisals shape judgments of intentionality? A traditional view is that individuals first evaluate whether an action has been carried out intentionally. Then they use this evaluation as input for their moral judgments. Recent studies, however, have shown that individuals’ moral appraisals can also influence their intentionality attributions. They attribute intentionality to the negative side effect of a given action, but not to the positive side effect of the same action. In three experiments, we show that this asymmetry is (...) a robust effect that critically depends on the agent’s beliefs. The asymmetry is reduced when agents are described as not knowing that their action can bring about side effects, and is eliminated when they are deemed to hold a false belief about the consequences of their actions. These results suggest that both evaluative and epistemic considerations are used in intentionality attribution. (shrink)
A plurality of axiomatic systems can be interpreted as referring to one and the same mathematical object. In this paper we examine the relationship between axiomatic systems and their models, the relationships among the various axiomatic systems that refer to the same model, and the role of an intelligent user of an axiomatic system. We ask whether these relationships and this role can themselves be formalized.