The author reflects upon the notions of personal memory, collective memory, myth, and evolved memory within her lived experience of Risdon Vale. These interrelated forms of memory influence understanding of place and sense of place. Personal memories corroborate and collaborate with intersubjective memories to inform collective memory. Both personal and collective memories are held within a fusion of cultural myths. Evolved memory binds us deeply within the history of the earth and the evolution of life. Risdon Vale provides fertile ground (...) for considerations of place and memory. This former public housing suburb is adjacent to Risdon Cove, the site of first occupation by the British in 1803 and the site of the first massacre of Aboriginal Tasmanians in 1804. (shrink)
There is a complexity of entities and happenings embodied within the pillars that frame the doorways in our homes and support the broad flat spaces that form supermarkets and department stores. Each pillar speaks to the mythology encircling the origins of Gothic architecture; the ideas surrounding the shift from the trunks and boughs of the sacred grove toward the columns, arches, and vaults of church and cathedral. Each pillar embodies the evolution of life and the history of the Earth. Awakening (...) toward the relational agency at play within the “humanly derived” allows us to recognize this agency as akin to wildness and as William Cronon asserts, this kinship draws us closer to recognizing and responding to the wild in all that surrounds us. It also produces a shift in how we understand the concept of wilderness. It is not, as Cronon contends, a cultural construct, but a fluxing and complex gestalt that includes both human and more-than-human agency. (shrink)
This is a ground-breaking study of the consequences of a central problem in Aristotle's Metaphysics in the interpretation given to it by Islamic and Christian Aristotelian philosophers: the relationship between individuals as individuals, and individuals as instances of a universal. Father Booth begins from an examination of the factors causing the aporia in the centre of Aristotle's ontology, going on to elaborate the way in which it occurred sometimes with confused reactions among the Greek, Syrian and Arab commentators, and (...) to note in particular the modifications to the weighting of elements in Aristotle's ontological figures (differing in detail, but in tendency the same) when his ontology was brought into the union with Platonist and other thought conventionally known as `Neoplatonism'. The discussion culminates in two chapters on the different reconciliations of the radical Aristotelian and the Neoplatonist traditions, proposed by Albertus Magnus and Thomas Aquinas, in which the factors in the aporia have a key importance. (shrink)
Most belief change operators in the AGM tradition assume an underlying plausibility ordering over the possible worlds which is transitive and complete. A unifying structure for these operators, based on supplementing the plausibility ordering with a second, guiding, relation over the worlds was presented in Booth et al. (Artif Intell 174:1339-1368, 2010). However it is not always reasonable to assume completeness of the underlying ordering. In this paper we generalise the structure of Booth et al. (Artif Intell 174: (...) 1339-1368, 2010) to allow incomparabilities between worlds. We axiomatise the resulting class of belief removal functions, and show that it includes an important family of removal functions based on finite prioritised belief bases. (shrink)
In studies of multi-agent interaction, especially in game theory, the notion of equilibrium often plays a prominent role. A typical scenario for the belief merging problem is one in which several agents pool their beliefs together to form a consistent "group" picture of the world. The aim of this paper is to define and study new notions of equilibria in belief merging. To do so, we assume the agents arrive at consistency via the use of a social belief removal function, (...) in which each agent, using his own individual removal function, removes some belief from his stock of beliefs. We examine several notions of equilibria in this setting, assuming a general framework for individual belief removal due to Booth et al. We look at their inter-relations as well as prove their existence or otherwise. We also show how our equilibria can be seen as a generalisation of the idea of taking maximal consistent subsets of agents. (shrink)
Richard Foley has suggested that the search for a good theory of epistemic justification and the analysis of knowledge should be conceived of as two distinct projects. However, he has not offered much support for this claim, beyond highlighting certain salutary consequences it might have. In this paper, I offer some further support for Foley’s claim by offering an argument and a way to conceive the claim in a way that makes it as plausible as its denial, and thus levelling (...) the playing field. The burden of proof then lies with those who seek to deny Foley’s radical suggestion. (shrink)
In this paper I hope to demonstrate two different (and seemingly independent) ways of interpreting the tenets of evidentialism and show why it is important to distinguish between them. These two ways correspond to those proposed by Feldman (Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 60, 667–695, 2000, Evidentialism: Essays in epistemology, Oxford University Press, 2004) and Adler (Midwest Studies in Philosophy, 23, 267–285, 1999, Beliefs own ethics, MIT Press, 2002). Feldman’s way of interpreting evidentialism makes evidentialism a principle about epistemic justification, about (...) what we ought to believe. Adler’s, on the other hand, makes evidentialism a principle about how we come to believe, what it is, broadly speaking, rational for us to believe. Having identified this difference, I consider two complaints levied against evidentialism, namely what I call the threshold problem and what I call the availability problem, and <span class='Hi'>hope</span> to show that: (a) only an independent, bracketed justification principle of evidentialism can deal with those problems; (b) the rationality principle of evidentialism is not in fact independent from the justification principle; (c) the rationality principle is hard to motivate; and that (d) in the final analysis the argument for the justification principle depends on the rationality principle. I thus conclude that although it may be convenient for evidentialists to treat these two principles as independent, such an independence cannot be maintained. (shrink)
To be a doxastic deontologist is to claim that there is such a thing as an ethics of belief (or of our doxastic attitudes in general). In other words, that we are subject to certain duties with respect to our doxastic attitudes, the non-compliance with which makes us blameworthy and that we should understand doxastic justification in terms of these duties. In this paper, I argue that these duties are our all things considered duties, and not our epistemic or moral (...) duties, for example. I show how this has the surprising result that, if deontologism is a thesis about doxastic justification, it entails that there is no such thing as epistemic or moral justification for a belief that p. I then suggest why this result, though controversial, may have some salutary consequences: primarily that it helps us make some sense of an otherwise puzzling situation regarding doxastic dilemmas. (shrink)
What, according to proponents of doxastic deontologism, is responsible belief? In this paper, we examine two proposals. Firstly, that responsible belief is blameless belief (a position we call DDB) and, secondly, that responsible belief is praiseworthy belief (a position we call DDP). We consider whether recent arguments in favor of DDP, mostly those recently offered by Brian Weatherson, stand up to scrutiny and argue that they do not. Given other considerations in favor of DDP, we conclude that the deontologist should (...) maintain that doxastic responsibility is a concept about freedom from appropriate blame. (shrink)
Abstract: In this article, I consider some of the similarities and differences between deontologism in ethics and epistemology. In particular, I highlight two salient differences between them. I aim to show that by highlighting these differences we can see that epistemic deontologism does not imply epistemic internalism and that it is not a thesis primarily about epistemic permissibility . These differences are: (1) deontologism in epistemology has a quasi -teleological feature (not shared with moral deontologism) in that it does not (...) require that one abide by epistemic duties for the sake of (and not merely in accordance with) those very duties; and (2) in ethics, the relevant options we speak of are whether someone acts or does not act; in epistemology, we have an analogous further option: we can speak of whether someone believes that p , fails to believe that p , or withholds judgment about that p. (shrink)
In this paper I consider whether there can be such things as epistemic reasons for action. I consider three arguments to the contrary and argue that none are successful, being either somewhat question-begging or too strong by ruling out what most epistemologists think is a necessary feature of epistemic justification, namely the epistemic basing relation. I end by suggesting a "non-cognitivist" model of epistemic reasons that makes room for there being epistemic reasons for action and suggest that this model may (...) support moral realism. (shrink)
In this article we examine the specific contributions Native American thought can make to the ongoing search for a Western ecological consciousness. We begin with a review of the influence of Native American beliefs on the different branches of the modem environmental movement and some initial comparisons of Western and Native American ways of seeing. We then review Native American thought on the natural world, highlighting beliefs in the need for reciprocity and balance, the world as a living being, and (...) relationships with animals. We conclude that Native American ideas are important, can prove inspirational in the search for a modem environmental consciousness, and affirm the arguments of both deep ecologists and ecofeminists. (shrink)
Matthias Steup (Steup 2008) has recently argued that our doxastic attitudes are free by (i) drawing an analogy with compatibilism about freedom of action and (ii) denying that it is a necessary condition for believing at will that S's having an intention to believe that p can cause S to believe that p . In this paper, however, I argue that the strategies espoused in (i) and (ii) are incompatible.
To contribute more effectively to conservation reform, environmental ethics needs a motivational turn, referenced to the best scientific information about motivation. I address the pivotal questions What actually motivates people to conserve nature? and What ought to motivate people to conserve nature? by proposing a framework for understanding motivations and developing motivationally relevant criteria for environmental ethics. The need for an adequate philosophy of psychology for moral philosophy, identified by Elizabeth Anscombe 50 years ago, remains. Only from a psychologically informed (...) motivational framework for morality can ethicists understand and address the widespread rhetoric behaviors gap plaguing conservation. (shrink)
I argue that the claim that epistemic ought is incommensurable is self-defeating. My argument, however, depends on the truth of the premise that there can be not only epistemic reasons for belief, but also non-epistemic (e.g., moral) reasons for belief. So I also provide some support for that claim.
Improving the treatment of life threatening emergency illness or disease requires that new or novel therapies be assessed in clinical trials. As most subjects for these trials will be incapacitated there is some controversy about they might best protected whilst still allowing research to continue. Recent European and UK clinical trials legislation, which has effectively stopped research into emergency conditions, is discussed. Possible changes to these regulations are proposed.
Shah, N. The Philosophical Quarterly, 56, 481–498 (2006) has defended evidentialism on the premise that only it (and not pragmatism) is consistent with both (a) the deliberative constraint on reasons and (b) the transparency feature of belief. I show, however, that the deliberative constraint on reasons is also problematic for evidentialism. I also suggest a way for pragmatism to be construed so as to make it consistent with both (a) and (b) and argue that a similar move is not available (...) to the evidentialist. Thus, far from settling the debate in favour of evidentialism, considerations concerning the deliberative constraint on reasons support pragmatism. (shrink)
In this paper I discuss two claims; the first is the claim that state-given reasons for belief are of a radically different kind to object-given reasons for belief. The second is that, where this last claim is true, epistemic reasons are object-given reasons for belief (EOG). I argue that EOG has two implausible consequences: (i) that suspension of judgement can never be epistemically justified, and (ii) that the reason that epistemically justifies a belief that p can never be the reason (...) for which one believes that p. (shrink)
Direct Doxastic Voluntarism � the notion that we have direct (un-mediated) voluntary control over our beliefs � has widely been held to be false. There are, however, two ways to interpret the impossibility of our having doxastic control: as either a conceptual/ logical/metaphysical impossibility or as a psychological impossibility. In this paper I analyse the arguments for (Williams 1973; Scott- Kakures 1993; Adler 2002) and against (Bennett 1990; Radcliffe 1997) both types of claim and, in particular, evaluate the bearing that (...) putative cases of self-deception have on the arguments in defence of voluntarism about belief. For it would seem that if it is the case that self-induced cases of self-deception are indeed possible, then voluntarism about belief could be true after all. Bennett claims that Williams� argument for the impossibility case proves too much in that if it is successful in ruling out direct doxastic voluntarism, it is also successful in ruling out cases of indirect doxastic voluntarism. If cases of self-deception can also be cases of indirect doxastic voluntarism, then such cases support the argument against the impossibility case. I argue that Bennett is right in claiming that Williams� argument proves too much, that cases of self-deception are indeed also sometimes cases of indirect self-deception and so that they cause genuine trouble for the conceptual impossibility case. However, I also argue that this is the only genuine worry for Williams� argument. I end, while considering whether cases of self-deception can tell us anything about the psychological possibility of direct doxastic control, by suggesting a way of establishing the conceptual impossibility of direct doxastic control that circumvents Bennett�s counter-argument. (shrink)
This Response focuses on the strength of the testosterone (T) dominance relationship, the circumstances under which aggression accompanies dominance, the viability of the basal model, mediators and moderators of the T-dominance relationship, and the research that is needed.
Rowbottom (2008) has recently challenged my definition of epistemic reasons for action and has offered an alternative account. In this paper, I argue that less than giving an 'alternative' definition, Rowbottom has offered an additional condition to my original account. I argue, further, that such an extra condition is unnecessary, i.e. that the arguments designed to motivate it do not go through.
Chimpanzee language studies have generated much heated controversy, as Roger Fouts can attest from firsthand experience. Perhaps this is because language is usually considered to be what truly distinguishes humans from apes. If chimps can indeed be taught the rudiments of language, then the difference between them and us is not as great as we might have thought. It is a matter of degree rather than kind, a continuity, and our species is not so special after all. The advantage of (...) this continuity thesis, as Fouts has emphasized, is that it conforms to the general tenets of evolutionary theory, and fits well with the evidence from paleontology and genetics that suggests that apes and humans are close cousins. It also .. (shrink)
It is tough to relate visual perception or other achievements to physiological processing in the central nervous system. The diagrammatic, algebraic, and verbal pictures of how sights seem to Lehar do not advance understanding of how we manage to see what is in the world. There are well-known conceptual reasons why no such purely introspective approach can be productive.
The notion of the rational closure of a positive knowledge base K of conditional assertions | (standing for if then normally ) was first introduced by Lehmann (1989) and developed by Lehmann and Magidor (1992). Following those authors we would also argue that the rational closure is, in a strong sense, the minimal information, or simplest, rational consequence relation satisfying K. In practice, however, one might expect a knowledge base to consist not just of positive conditional assertions, | , but (...) also negative conditional assertions, i (standing for not if then normally . Restricting ourselves to a finite language we show that the rational closure still exists for satisfiable knowledge bases containing both positive and negative conditional assertions and has similar properties to those exhibited in Lehmann and Magidor (1992). In particular an algorithm in Lehmann and Magidor (1992) which constructs the rational closure can be adapted to this case and yields, in turn, completeness theorems for the conditional assertions entailed by such a mixed knowledge base. (shrink)
Money does not stimulate receptors in mimicry of natural agonists; so, by definition, money is not a drug. Attractions of money other than to purchase goods and services could arise from instincts similar to hoarding in other species. Instinctual activities without evolutionary function include earning a billion and writing for BBS. (Published Online April 5 2006).
We assess J. Baird Callicott’s attempt in Earth’s Insights to reconcile his land ethic with the “environmental ethics” of indigenous peoples. We critique the rejection of ethical pluralism that informs this attempted rapprochement. We also assess Callicott’s strategy of grounding his land ethic in a postmodern scientific world view by contrasting it with the roles of “respect” and narrative in indigenous “ethics.”.
Stephen Hetherington has defended the tripartite analysis of knowledge (Hetherington in Philos Q 48:453–469, 1998; J Philos 96:565–587, 1999; J Philos Res 26:307–324, 2001a; Good knowledge, bad knowledge, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2001b). His defence has recently come under attack (Madison in Australas J Philos 89(1):47–58, 2011; Turri in Synthese 183(3):247–259, 2012). I critically evaluate those attacks as well as Hetherington’s newest formulation of his defence (Hetherington in Philosophia 40(3):539–547, 2012b; How to know: A practicalist conception of knowledge, Wiley, Oxford, (...) 2011a; Ratio 24:176–191, 2011b; Synthese 188:217–230, 2012a). I argue that his newest formulation is vulnerable to a modified version of Madison’s and Turri’s objection. However, I argue that Hetherington’s considerations lend support to a different, though also radical, thesis which can meet the objection. This thesis is what I call the Divorce thesis: the theory of epistemic justification is importantly independent of the theory of knowledge. (shrink)
Improvement in performance after the end of the training session, termed “Offline improvement,” has been shown in procedural learning tasks. We examined whether Offline improvement in learning a novel orthography depends on the type of reading instruction. Forty-eight adults received multisession training in reading nonsense words, written in an artificial script. Participants were trained in one of three conditions: alphabetical words preceded by direct letter instruction (Letter-Alph); alphabetical words with whole-word instruction (Word-Alph); and nonalphabetical (arbitrary) words with whole-word instruction (Word-Arb). (...) Offline improvement was found only for the Letter-Alph group. Moreover, correlation with a standardized measure of word reading ability showed that good readers trained in the Letter-Alph group exhibit greater Offline improvement, whereas good readers trained in the Word-Arb group showed greater Within-session improvement during training. These results suggest that different consolidation processes and learning mechanisms were involved in each group. We argue that providing a short block of direct letter instruction prior to training resulted in increased involvement of procedural learning mechanisms during training. (shrink)
We provide a formal study of belief retraction operators that do not necessarily satisfy the (Inclusion) postulate. Our intuition is that a rational description of belief change must do justice to cases in which dropping a belief can lead to the inclusion, or ‘liberation’, of others in an agent's corpus. We provide two models of liberation via retraction operators: ρ-liberation and linear liberation. We show that the class of ρ-liberation operators is included in the class of linear ones and provide (...) axiomatic characterisations for each class. We show how any retraction operator (including the liberation operators) can be ‘converted’ into either a withdrawal operator (i.e., satisfying (Inclusion)) or a revision operator via (a slight variant of) the Harper Identity and the Levi Identity respectively. (shrink)