Questions about the ontology of color matter because colors matter. Colors are (or, at least, appear to be) extremely pervasive and salient features of the world. Moreover, people care about the distribution of these features: they expend money and eﬀort to paint their houses, cars, and other possessions, and their clear preference for polychromatic over monochromatic televisions and computer monitors have consigned monochromatic models to the status of rare antiques. The apparent ubiquity of colors and their importance to our lives (...) makes them a ripe target for ontological questions such as the following:
• What is the nature of colors?
• Are they, as they seem to be, properties of objects? (shrink)
Blind tasting — tasting without knowing the wine’s producer, origin, or other details obtainable from the wine’s label— has become something of a fetish in the wine world. We are told, repeatedly and insistently, that blind tasting is the best, most neutral, least biased, and most honest evaluative procedure, and one that should be employed to the exclusion of non-blind/sighted tasting (which, in turn, is typically disparaged as confused, biased, or dishonest). Professional evaluators (e.g., the tasting panel of the Wine (...) Spectator, the Grand Jury Europ´een, virtually every judging panel in competitive wine events) routinely advertise that they use blind tasting exclusively. Wine books and tasting manuals at all levels consistently emphasize the importance of blind tasting. Thus, Michael Broadbent, perhaps the most prolific author of tasting notes in history, writes that “It is my firm opinion . . . that to assess the qualities of a wine by tasting it completely blind, without any hint of what it might be, is the most useful and salutary discipline that any self-respecting taster can be given” (quoted in ? , 156). Or, again, Ronald Jackson, in his industry-standard textbook on wine tasting, asserts categorically that “Tastings should always be conducted blind, usually with only the names of the wine noted in advance” ( ? , 334). (shrink)
Students of perception have long known that perceptual constancy is an important aspect of our perceptual interaction with the world. Here is a simple example of the phenomenon concerning color perception: there is some ordinary sense in which an unpainted ceramic coffee cup made from a uniform material looks a uniform color when it is viewed under uneven illumination, even though the light reflected by the shaded regions to our eyes is quite different from the light reflected by the unshaded (...) regions to our eyes (see figure 1). Or consider this example concerning size perception: there is some ordinary sense in which two telephone poles look the same size when the first is viewed from 100 meters and when the second is viewed from 1 meter, even though the visual angle subtended by the two poles on our retinae is very different (see figure 2). Or consider this example concerning shape perception: there is some ordinary sense in which a penny looks round both when viewed head on and when viewed from an acute angle, even though the area projected by the penny onto our retinae under these two conditions is very different (see figure 3). Or, finally, consider this example concerning auditory volume perception (which I cannot depict graphically): there is some ordinary sense in which a speaker’s voice sounds the same volume when heard from across the room and when heard from a distance of 1 meter, even though the energy striking our ears under these two conditions is very different. (shrink)
Our choices about what to eat have crucial implications for our stomachs, the welfare of animals, the natural environment, the arrangement of our society, our pleasure, and our health. So a lot is hanging on our decisions about what we eat. Moreover, these are not merely hypothetical ivory tower cases: every one of us typically makes these decisions (or has them made on our behalf) several times daily!
The characteristic focus, intensity and hopefulness of Chomskyâ€™s political writings, however, reflect a set of more fundamental views about human nature, justice and social order that are not simple matters of fact. This article explores these more fundamental ideas, the central elements in Chomskyâ€™s social thought. We begin (section i) by sketching the relevant features of Chomskyâ€™s conception of human nature. We then examine his libertarian social ideals (section ii), and views on social stability and social evolution (section iii), both (...) of which are animated by this conception of our nature. (shrink)
This course is an introduction to contemporary work in epistemology -- roughly, the theory of knowledge -- and metaphysics -- roughly, the theory of what there is in the world. As such, the course will be devoted to fundamental questions about the world and our knowledge of it. What is matter? How is a priori knowledge possible? What does it mean for evidence to confirm a theory? In addressing these topics, we'll also discuss classic paradoxes involving truth, vagueness, space-time, and (...) contradiction. (shrink)
This is a course in recent and contemporary approaches to the theory of knowledge. We'll be looking at some of the major debates in epistemology, including those over the structure of knowledge, the proper analysis of knowledge, justification, and related notions, as well as some meta-epistemological issues that have arisen in recent discussions of so-called naturalized epistemology. The course will not presuppose any exposure to the relevant literatures, and will be a broad overview of some of the going accounts and (...) controversies. (shrink)
Instructor: Jonathan Cohen (joncohenREMOVETHIS@aardvark.ucsd.edu (omit text in caps, which reduces automated spam)) office: (732) 445 6163 home: (718) 499 1213 Office hours: Tuesday, 12:30 to 2:00, in Psychology A132 , on Busch Campus.
This course is an introduction to the philosophy of language. Philosophy of language concerns quite a large number of topics, including meaning, truth, content, reference, the syntax and semantics of various linguistic constructions, the nature and role of presupposition in communicative interchange, speech acts, figurative uses of language, questions about the ontology of languages, the epistemology of language understanding and language learning, the mental/psychologial basis of linguistic understanding and use, and so on. Since we can't possibly study all of these (...) topics, we'll focus our energy on topics that are most central in recent philosophical work on language, and that have far-reaching consequences for other topics in philosophy of language and other areas of philosophy. (shrink)
What makes this, the third edition of Nietzsche as Philosopher, count as "expanded" is that Danto has added six short, recent writings on Nietzsche. Three of these—Danto's introduction to the second edition of the Faber translation of Human, All-Too-Human, his review of Hollingdale's translation of Daybreak, and his contribution to Richard Schacht's anthology on On the Genealogy of Morals —have appeared elsewhere and so will not be discussed here. A fourth piece, "A Comment on Nietzsche's Artistic Metaphysics," was apparently newly (...) written for this volume; however, since it focuses exclusively on "On Truth and Lies in an Extra-Moral Sense"—an early writing not published by Nietzsche himself—it seems a waste of .. (shrink)
Ethics has been identified as an important factor that potentially affects auditors’ professional skepticism. For example, prior research finds that auditors who are more concerned with professional ethics exhibit greater professional skepticism. Further, the literature suggests that professional skepticism may lead the auditor to more vigilantly resist the client’s position in financial reporting disputes. These reporting disputes are generally resolved through negotiations between the auditor and client to arrive at the final reported amounts. To date, the role that professional skepticism (...) potentially plays in the negotiation process has been relatively unexplored. The literature prior to the enactment of Sarbanes–Oxley (SOX) suggests that auditors are more likely to approve a client position when the matter in dispute is relatively ambiguous and when changing the client’s position will result in the client failing to meet analysts’ expectations. However, changes resulting from SOX have led auditors to be more vigilant and therefore results found in the pre-SOX environment may not hold in the current environment where auditors are held more accountable for their actions. Results from an experiment with experienced audit managers and partners suggest that in the post-SOX climate, auditors’ negotiations do not appear to be substantively influenced by management being able to meet or beat forecasts. Moreover, we find that when auditors exhibit heightened professional skepticism, they are more ethical by being conservative and they stand more resolute than when auditors do not exhibit heightened professional skepticism. Finally, although we do not find a main effect for the influence of earnings forecast, we do find a significant interaction between earnings forecast and heightened professional skepticism. Implications for practice and research are then presented. (shrink)
This article defends the principle of non-establishment against 21st-century projects of political religion, constitutional theocracy and political theology. It is divided into two parts, which will appear in two consecutive issues of Philosophy & Social Criticism, 39(4–5) and 39(6). Part 1 proceeds by constructing an ideal type of political secularism, and then discussing the innovative American model of constitutional dualism regarding religion that combined constitutional protection for the freedom of religious conscience and exercise with the principle of non-establishment. The article (...) analyses the strengths and limits of the ‘separation–accommodation’ frame that became hegemonic in 1st amendment jurisprudence from the 1940s to the 1990s. It challenges the standard caricature of the American model as strictly separationist and privatizing. It then critically assesses two contemporary alternatives to that frame: the integrationist approach and the equal liberty approach. The first, disguised as a concern for pluralism and fairness, challenges ‘separation’ and political secularism in a subtle attack on the non-establishment principle, aimed at drastically narrowing its scope. Successes of this approach in recent Supreme Court jurisprudence and politics have triggered a response by liberal egalitarians. The author addresses this response – the equal liberty model – in part 2, which will appear in Philosophy & Social Criticism 39(6), arguing that although on the right track, it fails to find a middle ground between political secularism and integration. (shrink)
This article defends the principle of non-establishment against 21st-century projects of political religion, constitutional theocracy and political theology. It is divided into two parts. The first part, published in special issue 39.4–5 of Philosophy and Social Criticism, proceeds by constructing an ideal type of political secularism, and then discussing the innovative American model of constitutional dualism regarding religion that combined constitutional protection for the freedom of religious conscience and exercise with the principle of non-establishment. It then critically assesses the integrationist (...) approach –disguised as a concern for pluralism and fairness – as an alternative to this framework. The integrationist approach challenges ‘separation’ and political secularism in a subtle attack on the non-establishment principle, aimed at drastically narrowing its scope. Successes of this approach in recent Supreme Court jurisprudence and politics, have triggered a response by liberal egalitarians. I address this response – the equal liberty model – in this second part, arguing that although on the right track, it fails to find a middle ground between political secularism and integration. Instead, by abandoning the discourse of separation, it plays into populist integrationist hands without delivering on the promise of providing a coherent standard for deciding cases. The article proposes a third approach, one that does not throw out the non-establishment baby with the strict separationist bathwater and that wholeheartedly endorses political secularism, a sine qua non for 21st-century constitutional democracy. Equal liberty properly construed can help provide criteria for determining when an accommodation, a regulation or no regulation of religion by the state is appropriate. But it must be supplemented by other values – democratic and civil republican. The article concludes with a typology of the forms of regulation that are warranted under the conditions of the contemporary regulatory state, now the target and prize of politicized religion. (shrink)
Answering machines and other types of recording devices present prima facie problems for traditional theories of the meaning of indexicals. The present essay explores a range of semantic and pragmatic responses to these issues. Careful attention to the difficulties posed by recordings promises to help enlighten the boundaries between semantics and pragmatics more broadly.
There is a long and distinguished tradition in philosophy and psychology according to which the mindâ€™s fundamental, foundational connection to the world is made by connecting perceptually to features of objects. On this picture, which we’ll call feature prioritarianism, minds like ours first make contact with the colors, shapes, and sizes of distal items, and then, only on the basis of the representations so obtained, build up representations of the objects that bear these features. The feature priority view maintains, then, (...) that our perception/knowledge of objects asymmetrically depends on our perception/knowledge of simple features. This paper has two aims. First, we will present evidence, drawn from a variety of perceptual effects, that feature prioritarianism cannot be true, since there are cases that speak against the priority of feature representations in perceptual processing. Instead, we claim that the evidence supports an alternative â€”-and more complexâ€”- no-priority view. Second, we will offer a framework for a no-priority view that both captures the cases we cite and provides a more sensible architecture in which to understand a variety of productive projects in perceptual science, and show how the framework cross-cuts some recent discussions in philosophy of perception. (shrink)
In this paper I reply to two sets of criticisms—a first from Joshua Gert, and a second from Keith Allen—of the relationalist view of color developed and defended in my book, The Red and the Real: An Essay on Color Ontology.
The following essay seeks to deploy, from Husserl to Levinas, the centrality of the problem of temporality. In truth, the understanding of temporality constitutes, properly said, that which identifies and differentiates all the authors of the phenomenological tradition. Which means: temporality is that from which all phenomenological breakthroughs are signified and given their very possibility. Our task is thus, through a reading of Husserl, Heidegger and Levinas, to reveal how temporality is reassessed in the history of phenomenology as well as (...) to show how the philosophy of E. Levinas opens, beyond Husserl and Heidegger but by rendering justice to them both, to a novel and unedited temporality: an irreducible temporality of alterity from whence 'presence' is suspended by another source of meaning than the intentional constitution of phenomenality. (shrink)
Response inhibition plays a critical role in adaptive functioning and can be assessed with the Stop-signal task, which requires participants to suppress prepotent motor responses. Evidence suggests that this ability to inhibit a motor response that has already been initiated (reflected as Stop-signal reaction time (SSRT)) is a quantitative and heritable measure of interindividual variation in brain function. In order to examine the reliability of this measure, we pooled data across three separate studies and examined the influence of multiple SSRT (...) calculation methods and outlier calling on reliability (using Intra-class correlation). Our results suggest that an approach which uses the average of all available sessions, all trials of each session, and excludes outliers based on predetermined lenient criteria yields reliable SSRT estimates, while not excluding too many participants. Our findings support the reliability of SSRT as an index of inhibitory control, and provide support for its continued use as a neurocognitive phenotype. (shrink)
Regulatory responses to the business failures of 1998–2001 framed them as a general failure of governance and ethics rather than as firm-specific problems. Among the regulatory responses are Section 406 of Sarbanes–Oxley Act, SEC, and exchange requirements to provide a Code of Ethics. However, institutional pressures surrounding this regulation suggest the potential for symbolic responses and decoupling of response from organizational action. In this article, we examine Codes of Ethics for a stratified sample of 75 U.S. firms across five distinct (...) industries and find that content and language converge across organizations in ways undesired by the regulators, and that language is used to minimize the effects of the Code on constraining organizational behavior. There is, however, a noteworthy exception in the sections of the Codes dedicated the ethics of financial reporting. Although this material still contains legalistic boilerplate information, it does offer concrete guidance and emphatic language pertaining to the need to maintain the integrity of reporting practices. This suggests that the corporate understanding of the source of the failures is one of fraudulent financial reporting. Aside from the matter of financial reporting, the vague and stylized content of the Codes was a predicted response and constitutes a rational response to the regulation. The regulation, however, clearly states the belief that Codes should vary from firm to firm and that individual firms should determine the specific content of a Code. Aside from financial reporting matters, the observed result suggests that regulatory efforts may have failed to instigate corporate change in attitudes toward and enforcement of higher ethical standards by corporate actors. (shrink)
In considering the challenges medical educators face in addressing the needs of today's health-care system, it is instructive to review the challenges Abraham Flexner (1910) was called upon to address at the turn of the last century. As Flexner surveyed the state of U.S. medical schools 100 years ago, he found a legacy system of medical education that was failing to prepare 20th-century physicians to meet the evolving needs and expectations of patients. That legacy system was based largely on an (...) outmoded apprenticeship model of education, was failing to incorporate the rapidly developing natural sciences, and to make matters worse, was devoid of external scrutiny and uniform standards by which medical schools .. (shrink)
Based on evidence from press articles covering 39 corporate fraud cases that went public during the period 1992-2005, the objective of this article is to examine the role of managers' behavior in the commitment of the fraud. This study integrates the fraud triangle (FT) and the theory of planned behavior (TPB) to gain a better understanding of fraud cases. The results of the analysis suggest that personality traits appear to be a major fraud-risk factor. The analysis was further validated through (...) a quantitative analysis of keywords which confirmed that keywords associated with the attitudes/rationalizations component of the integrated theory were predominately found in fraud firms as opposed to a sample of control firms. The results of the study suggest that auditors should evaluate the ethics of management through the components of the TPB: the assessment of attitude, subjective norms, perceived behavioral control and moral obligation. Therefore, it is potentially important that the professional standards that are related to fraud detection strengthen the emphasis on managers' behavior that may be associated with unethical behavior. (shrink)
Response inhibition is thought to improve throughout childhood and into adulthood. Despite the relationship between age and the ability to stop ongoing behavior, questions remain regarding whether these age-related changes reflect improvements in response inhibition or in other factors that contribute to response performance variability. Functional neuroimaging data shows age-related changes in neural activity during response inhibition. While traditional methods of exploring neuroimaging data are limited to determining correlational relationships, newer methods can determine predictability and can begin to answer these (...) questions. Therefore, the goal of the current study was to determine which aspects of neural function predict individual differences in age, inhibitory function, response speed, and response time variability. We administered a stop-signal task requiring rapid inhibition of ongoing motor responses to healthy participants aged 9-30. We conducted a standard analysis using GLM and a predictive analysis using high-dimensional regression methods. During successful response inhibition we found regions typically involved in motor control, such as the ACC and striatum, that were correlated with either age, response inhibition (as indexed by stop-signal reaction time; SSRT), response speed, or response time variability. However, when examining which variables neural data could predict, we found that age and SSRT, but not speed or variability of response execution, were predicted by neural activity during successful response inhibition. This predictive relationship provides novel evidence that developmental differences and individual differences in response inhibition are related specifically to inhibitory processes. More generally, this study demonstrates a new approach to identifying the neurocognitive bases of individual differences. (shrink)
Color relationalism is the view that colors are constituted in terms of relations between subjects and objects. The most historically important form of color relationalism is the classic dispositionalist view according to which, for example red is the disposition to look red to standard observers in standard conditions (mutatis mutandis for other colors).1 However, it has become increasingly apparent in recent years that a commitment to the relationality of colors bears interest that goes beyond dispositionalism (Cohen, 2004; Matthen, 1999, 2001, (...) 2005; Thompson, 1995). Accordingly, it is an important project for those interested in the metaphysics of color to sort through and assess different forms of color relationalism. There is, however, a powerful and general cluster of objections that has been thought by many to amount to a decisive refutation of any and all forms of color relationalism. Although this idea has been developed in a number of ways, the basic thought is that relationalism — qua theory of color — is at odds with the manifest evidence of color phenomenology, and that this clash between theory and data should be resolved by giving up the theory. (shrink)
But Hardin hasn’t contented himself with reframing traditional philosoph- ical issues about color in a way that is sensitive to relevant empirical con- straints. In addition, he has been a staunch defender of color eliminativism — the view that there are no colors, qua properties of tables, chairs, and other mind-external objects, and a vociferous critic of several varieties of re- alism about color that have been defended by others (e.g., [Hardin, 2003], [Hardin, 2005]). These other views include the so-called (...) color physical- ism of [Hilbert, 1987], [Byrne and Hilbert, 1997a], [Byrne and Hilbert, 2003], and [Tye, 2000],1 and, inconveniently, even the relationalist view defended in [Cohen, 2003a], [Cohen, 2004a], [Cohen, 2003b], [McLaughlin, 2003], and [Jakab and McLaughlin, 2003]. (shrink)
Students of perception have long puzzled over a range of cases in which perception seems to tell us distinct, and in some sense conflicting, things about the world. In the cases at issue, the perceptual system is capable of responding to a single stimulus — say, as manifested in the ways in which subjects sort that stimulus — in different ways. This paper is about these puzzling cases, and about how they should be characterized and accounted for within a general (...) theory of perception. After rehearsing the sort of case at issue (§1), I’ll examine critically some of the strategies by which philosophers and perceptual psychologists have attempted to account for them (§2). Finally, I’ll present an alternative computational account of the puzzle cases, argue that this view is superior to its competitors, and examine some of its implications (§3). (shrink)
What is the relationship between sounds and time? More specifically, is there something essentially or distinctively temporal about sounds that distinguishes them from, say, colors, shapes, odors, tastes, or other sensible qualities? And just what might this distinctive relation to time consist in? Apart from their independent interest, these issues have a number of important philosophical repercussions. First, if sounds are temporal in a way that other sensible qualities are not, then this would mean that standard lists of paradigm secondary (...) qualities offered by Locke, Galileo, and other modern philosophers — lists which include colors, odors and sounds without any significant distinctions — overlook significant metaphysical differences. This, in turn, would threaten to undermine the coherence of the modern understanding of secondary qualities itself. Moreover, a number of authors have recently urged that the essential temporality of sounds makes it impossible to understand sounds as properties (except on a trope theory of properties; see note 3). If true, and given the more or less universal view that colors are properties, this last conclusion would make potentially inapplicable to sounds much of the comparatively well-developed philosophical taxonomy and apparatus that has arisen in philosophical disputes over the status of colors (for presentations of this taxonomy and apparatus see, for example, Byrne and Hilbert (2003); Cohen (2008b)).1 Therefore, the conclusion that sounds are distinctively temporal would be a serious blow to hopes for a theoretically unified treatment of the sensory qualities.2 For all these reasons, quite a lot seems to hang on the question of the temporality of sounds. (shrink)
An important obstacle to lawhood in the special sciences is the worry that such laws would require metaphysically extravagant conspiracies among fundamental particles. How, short of conspiracy, is this possible? In this paper we'll review a number of strategies that allow for the projectibility of special science generalizations without positing outlandish conspiracies: non-Humean pluralism, classical MRL theories of laws, and Albert and Loewer's theory. After arguing that none of the above fully succeed, we consider the conspiracy problem through the lens (...) of our preferred view of laws, an elaboration of the MRL view that we call the Better Best System (BBS) theory. BBS offers a picture on which, although all events supervene on a fundamental level, there is no one unique locus of projectibility; rather there are a large number of loci corresponding to the different areas (ecology, economics, solid-state chemistry, etc.) in which there are simple and strong generalizations to be made. While we expect that some amount of conspiracy-fear-inducing special science projectibility is inevitable given BBS, we'll argue that this is unobjectionable. It follows from BBS that the laws of any particular special or fundamental science amount to a proper subset of the laws. From this vantage point, the existence of projectible special science generalizations not guaranteed by the fundamental laws is not an occasion for conspiracy fantasies, but a predictable fact of life in a complex world. (shrink)
An important motivation for relational theories of color is that they resolve apparent conflicts about color: x can, without contradiction, be red relative to S1 and not red relative to S2. Alas, many philosophers claim that the view is incompatible with naive, phenomenally grounded introspection. However, when we presented normal adults with apparent conflicts about color (among other properties), we found that many were open to the relationalist's claim that apparently competing variants can simultaneously be correct. This suggests that, philosophers' (...) claims to the contrary notwithstanding, introspection does not supply authoritative and unambiguous reason to reject color relationalism. (shrink)
The arc of the moral universe -- Structure, choice, and legitimacy: Locke's theory of the state -- Democratic equality -- A more democratic liberalism -- For a democratic society -- Knowledge, morality and hope: the social thought of Noam Chomsky: with Joel Rogers -- Reflections on Habermas on democracy -- A matter of demolition?: Susan Okin on justice and gender -- Minimalism about human rights: the most we can hope for? -- Is there a human right to democracy? -- Extra (...) republicam nulla justitia?: with Charles Sabel. (shrink)
Social exclusion and legal marginalization are important determinants of health outcomes for people who use illicit drugs, sex workers, and persons who face criminal penalties because of homosexuality or transgenderism. Incarceration may add to the health risks associated with police repression and discrimination for these persons. Access to legal services may be essential to positive health outcomes in these populations. Through concrete examples, this paper explores types of legal problems and legal services linked to health outcomes for drug users, sex (...) workers, and sexual minorities and makes recommendations for donors, legal service providers, and civil society organizations. (shrink)