The dominant approach to environmental policy endorsed by conservative and libertarian policy thinkers, so-called (FME), is grounded in the recognition and protection of property rights in environmental resources. Despite this normative commitment to property rights, most self-described FME advocates adopt a utilitarian, welfare-maximization approach to climate change policy, arguing that the costs of mitigation measures could outweigh the costs of climate change itself. Yet even if anthropogenic climate change is decidedly less than catastrophic, human-induced climate change is likely to contribute (...) to environmental changes that violate traditional conceptions of property rights. Viewed globally, the actions of some countriesare likely to increase environmental harms suffered by other countries—less developed nations that have not (as of yet) made any significant contribution to climate change. It may well be that aggregate human welfare would be maximized in a warmer, wealthier world, or that the gains from climate change will offset environmental losses. Yet such claims, even if demonstrated, would not address the normative concern that the consequences of anthropogenic global warming would infringe upon the rights of people in less-developed nations. As a consequence, this paper calls for a rethinking of FME approaches to climate change policy. (shrink)
Whereas conventional analyses characterize environmental problems as examples of market failure, proponents of free-market environmentalism (FME) consider the problem to be a lack of markets and, in particular, a lack of enforceable and exchangeable property rights. Enforcing property rights alleviates disputes about, as well as the overuse of, most natural resources. FME diagnoses of pollution are much weaker, however. Most FME proponents suggest that common-law tort suits can adequately protect private property and ecological resources from pollution. Yet such claims have (...) not been substantiated. Further research is needed before the common law, or regulatory reforms grounded in common-law principles, can be seen as a viable alternative to traditional environmental regulation. (shrink)
Cost-benefit analysis is a widely used governmental evaluation tool, though academics remain skeptical. This volume gathers prominent contributors from law, economics, and philosophy for discussion of cost-benefit analysis, specifically its moral foundations, applications and limitations. This new scholarly debate includes not only economists, but also contributors from philosophy, cognitive psychology, legal studies, and public policy who can further illuminate the justification and moral implications of this method and specify alternative measures. These articles originally appeared in the Journal of Legal Studies. (...) Contributors: - Matthew D. Adler - Gary S. Becker - John Broome - Robert H. Frank - Robert W. Hahn - Lewis A. Kornhauser - Martha C. Nussbaum - Eric A. Posner - Richard A. Posner - Henry S. Richardson - Amartya Sen - Cass R. Sunstein - W. Kip Viscusi. (shrink)
Davidson's account of weakness of will depends upon a parallel that he draws between practical and theoretical reasoning. I argue that the parallel generates a misleading picture of theoretical reasoning. Once the misleading picture is corrected, I conclude that the attempt to model akratic belief on Davidson's account of akratic action cannot work. The arguments that deny the possibility of akratic belief also undermine, more generally, various attempts to assimilate theoretical to practical reasoning.
This interdisciplinary work is a collection of major essays on reasoning: deductive, inductive, abductive, belief revision, defeasible (non-monotonic), cross cultural, conversational, and argumentative. They are each oriented toward contemporary empirical studies. The book focuses on foundational issues, including paradoxes, fallacies, and debates about the nature of rationality, the traditional modes of reasoning, as well as counterfactual and causal reasoning. It also includes chapters on the interface between reasoning and other forms of thought. In general, this last set of essays represents (...) growth points in reasoning research, drawing connections to pragmatics, cross-cultural studies, emotion and evolution. (shrink)
Fair lotteries offer familiar ways to pose a number of epistemological problems, prominently those of closure and of scepticism. Although these problems apply to many epistemological positions, in this paper I develop a variant of a lottery case to raise a difficulty with the reliabilist's fundamental claim that justification or knowledge is to be analyzed as a high truth-ratio (of the relevant belief-forming processes). In developing the difficulty broader issues are joined including fallibility and the relation of reliability to understanding.
Why is there so much misrepresentation of arguments in public forums? Standard explanations, such as self-interested biases, are insufficient. An additional part of the explanation is our commitment to, or belief in, norms that disallow responses that amount to no firm judgment, as contrasted with definite agreement or disagreement. In disallowing no-firm-judgment responses, these norms deny not only degrees of support or dissent and a variety of ways of suspending judgment, but also indifference. Since these norms leave us with only (...) constricted options that are very intellectually demanding, in accepting these norms we impose on ourselves a pressure to justify our judgment that lends itself to relief through misrepresentation or distortion. (shrink)
Three fallacies in the rationality debate obscure the possibility for reconciling the opposed camps. I focus on how these fallacies arise in the view that subjects interpret their task differently from the experimenters (owing to the influence of conversational expectations). The themes are: first, critical assessment must start from subjects' understanding; second, a modal fallacy; and third, fallacies of distribution.
Evidentialism implies that, for epistemic purposes, belief should be responsive only to evidence. Focusing on our reactive attitude such as resentment or indignation, I construct an argument that the beliefs or judgments accompanying those attitudes are constrained in advance by circumstances to be full, rather than being open to the whole range of partial beliefs. These judgments or beliefs imply strong claims to justification. But the circumstances in which those attitudes are formed allow only very limited evidence. Nevertheless, we cannot (...) opt out regularly since the formation of such attitudes is so central a feature of a minimally content human social life. (shrink)
In many base rate studies, a judgment is required for which the base rates are relevant, and subjects do not use them. It is inferred that the base rates are ignored; I question this inference. Second, I argue that the base rate fallacy is not less significant for what it reveals about human reasoning, if it occurs less frequently than has been alleged.
Conductive Arguments are held to be defeasible, non-conclusive, and neither inductive nor deductive (Blair and Johnson in Conductive argument: An overlooked type of defeasible reasoning. College, London, 2011). Of the different kinds of Conductive Arguments, I am concerned only with those for which it is claimed that countervailing considerations detract from the support for the conclusion, complimentary to the positive reasons increasing that support. Here’s an example from Wellman (Challenge and response: justification in ethics. Southern Illinois University Press, Chicago, 1971): (...) Although your lawn needs cutting, you ought to take your son to the movies because the picture is ideal for children and will be gone by tomorrow. (1971: 57) I argue that Conductive Arguments are not possible—the “ought” conclusion only holds if countervailing considerations are nullified. (shrink)
A critique of conversational epistemic contextualism focusing initially on why pragmatic encroachment for knowledge is to be avoided. The data for pragmatic encroachment by way of greater costs of error and the complementary means to raise standards of introducing counter-possibilities are argued to be accountable for by prudence, fallibility and pragmatics. This theme is sharpened by a contrast in recommendations: holding a number of factors constant, when allegedly higher standards for knowing hold, invariantists still recommend assertion (action), while contextualists do (...) not. Given the knowledge norm of assertion, if one recommendation is preferable to the other, the result favors the preferred recommendation's account of knowledge. In the final section, I offer a unification of these criticisms centering on the contextualist use of 'epistemic position'. Their use imposes on threshold notions of justification, warrant, or knowledge tests that are suitable only to unlimited comparative or scalar notions like confidence or certainty and places them at one with an important strand of sceptical reasoning. (shrink)
The present argument assumes that teaching through modeling attempts to teach the intellectual virtues not primarily as an independent goal of education as, for example, a way to build good character, but for its value to inquiry. I argue that intellectual vices (such as being gullible, dogmatic, pigheaded, or prejudiced)—while harmful to inquiry in certain ways—are essential to its well functioning. Furthermore, to the extent that teaching models critical inquiry, there are educational lessons for which some students ought to take (...) a dogmatic or narrow minded commitment to certain hypotheses or positions; and then, insofar as this modeling works, it will promote these intellectual vices. In Part I of what follows, I develop my argument; in Part II, I respond to the objection that diversity of ideas and attitudes need not—and ought not—call upon the promotion of intellectual vices. (shrink)